The Odyssey is one of the oldest stories ever written and it’s amazing how it has stuck around for so many years. It’s very cool to see such an old tale be interpreted into a hugely different time period and almost a completely different storyline. O Brother, Where art Thou? is a brilliant movie. It makes the movie so much more meaningful when you have read the book and can make the connections. In the beginning of the movie it says that its based on The Odyssey and with all of the appearances of similar characters and events, it would be extremely hard to write a three page paper on how O Brother, Where Art Thou? isn’t based on The Odyssey.
In regards to that, O Brother, Where Art Thou? is based on many of the characters and events of The Odyssey. Ulysses Everett McGill portrays Odysseus, the hero of The Odyssey. First of all, they are both main characters of their stories. They have similar characteristics such as, being charismatic, conceited, and being a strong leader. All of which are typical of being a main character. Is interesting how in the movie Everett was a terrible fighter, unlike Odysseus. In every situation he was beat up and later had to defeat the opponent with his brains.
Odysseus was most definitely a “Dapper Dan Man”. One connection for this could be that it shows the character’s arrogance by always having to look and smell good all the time or how they are both so self-important. Another obvious connection is the Cyclops. In Odysseus’ journey he meets a giant with one eye who is a Shepard.
Everett encounters a similar character. He is a large Bible salesman who beats him and Delmar up and kills the toad they think is their friend Pete. Odysseus defeats the Cyclops by stabbing it in the eye with a wooden stake, then him and his men escape the cave. Later in the movie, Everett and his friends find themselves in the middle of a KKK Klonvocation (meeting). Big Dan Teague (the Cyclops) reveals himself and Everett throws a sharp wooden stake with the Confederate flag on the other end at Big Dan. He catches it just before it hits his eye but Everett cuts the ropes on the burning cross and it falls on him. The Sirens are another big part in the movie.
In The Odyssey, Odysseus and his men are warned to put wax over their ears. Odysseus has his men tie him to the mast, just so he can tell everyone that he resisted the song of the sirens. At one point during the movie, Pete hears the song off in the distance and has to follow its sound. They find the Sirens; yes they call them Sirens in the movie, and are given corn liquor.
The men wake up and notice that Pete’s gone. The Sirens in the book are said to lure the sailor to the cliffs where they would end up drowning themselves. The movie has a very similar take on this, they would lure a man and get him drunk.
Luckily, in this movie, they didn’t actually kill Pete or even turn him into a toad. Here’s a little less obvious connection between the two. The Lotus-Eaters and the Baptizing Worshipers. Near the beginning of O Brother, Where Art Thou? Everett and his friends are camping out and an entire church group comes out of the woods,.