Homer's Ancient Greek Works: the Odyssey in comparison to Ramayana of India

Published: 2021-07-09
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Middlebury College
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Homer became one of the astute Greek poets of all generation. He was often referred as the teacher of Greece, his styles of Greek works had become more of a dialect. The poems works he created are believed to be the oldest as far as poetry is concerned (Buckley 122). His great work kept on playing significant roles in shaping the Greece cultures. Compared to other poets such as the Ramayana of India, the Odyssey acquired a name and more similarities making the two to be hailed everywhere (Buckley 125). The two great poets did a lot of work, which carried many themes depicting the kind of life that people lived then and even today, the works still have profound teachings that reflect the reality of life in several cultures around the globe.

Rama and Odyssey have fundamental similarities in their journey. Rama in his journey comes across Soorpanaka threatening to attack him, but in her attempt to carry out the attack, Lakshmana comes to his rescue attacking her (Buckley 127). When Soorpanaka is injured, she ran back to inform Ravana to help in posing an obstacle to the journey of Rama. Similarly, Odyssey also fought the Cyclops. The Cyclops also went back tell Poseidon what Odyssey had done; it is apparent that Odyssey had blinded him while they were staging a war. Cyclops tells his father Poseidon that Odyssey had blinded him result in Poseidon becoming an obstacle to Odyssey journey. The similarities of the two are also manifested clearly because both were killers of the people who held wives as captives. In the fight to liberate his wife, Odyssey killed all the suitors who were scheming to reap his wealth and at the same time trying to inherit his wife. On the same note, held and later killed Ravana a kidnapper who made Sita his captive (McConnell 197). As much as the two poets showed a close and similar character, they had some little difference. While Odyssey went to war leaving his family back home, Sita was taken and forced to separate with her husband by Ravana.

The odyssey in the Trojan War conveys a lot of wonders; he makes his way back home to Ithaca after involving into a fierce battle. In an initial comparison, both the epics to note that even the titles convey an outstanding similarity where the Ramayana has a meaning of the journey of Rama, Odyssey on the other hand according to Webster, it is referred to very long voyage trip (McConnell 199). As per their titles, the reader is capable of getting an impression of the protagonists all embroiled in an expedition which may be mental, physical or spiritual. Being that the situation of both the both Rama and Odyssey are almost similar, it is possible as well to compare how they might have reacted to the challenging circumstances, and thus perhaps their reactions were alike. Both hailed from a lineage of nobility, Rama was begotten from the kingdom of Kosala, and he became the prince of Adhoya. Similarly, Odyssey has inscribed the ruling hand, and he was a great ruler of Ithaca which was an island (McConnell 201). Additionally, Rama became a member of Kshatriya class who was usually warriors and kings; it is known that duty and honor would supersede any other value to such members of the society. In a similar case, Odyssey was a king who conformed to his kingship duties as witnessed when he showed great courage to fight for his kingdom in the Trojan War.

In Hindu mythology, Ramayana is considered as one of the main contributors, in the context, himself was normally referred as the god to whom all incarnations went to as the son of Dasharath. He was seen to possess the ability to destroy the evil Ravana (McConnell 202). Thus he exuded moral values as well as a symbol of righteousness. Entirely in the epic, Rama showed typical behavior with just a few rare lapses in delivering judgment to which others thought were intentional in destroying Ravana. Some of the lapses included not questioning Sita his wife in her demands especially the golden deer, in the case, Rama blindly accepted to capture the deer fulfilling her request while he was aware that deer was such a rare animal (Monier-Williams 289). Another occasion in which his act became questionable was after the rescue of Sita, Rama described her presence as being unbearable.

In comparison to the case of Odyssey, Odyssey was not of divine origin. He was aided by the gods of Greece. At the beginning of the epic, Athena presented Odyssey's case to the pantheon; the gods began recalling the Odysseys to their thoughts, it is here that the gods started to remember how long odyssey have struggled while he was held captive. As a matter of comparison, the odyssey is seen to be witty and cunning than Rama (Monier-Williams 290). After Zeuss had given orders through Hermes, Odyssey was offered freedom; some tracery comes in when Odyssey react by replying to Calypso's proposition home? Never. The reaction of Odyssey gives the reader a glance into perhaps what his thoughts were.

Another comparison is how the two interacted with the people, how the two heroes interacted with their families and societal people became more important to their characters. In the epic, Rama was purposeful in rescuing his wife Sita from the clutches of Ravana. Similarly, Odyssey is also seen embarking on a journey of returning home to his wife Penelope, whom he cherishes. Considering the zeal of the two heroes, Odyssey and Rama, they depict the two women as portraits of ideal wives. From the apical occurrences, Penelope refuses to lie or marry the suitors when Odyssey was absent and she waited until the return of her husband (Monier-Williams 292). As well Sita is kidnapped by Ravana, she refused his advances and the extreme luxuries as she confined herself on the Asoka grove. On the whole, Penelope and Sita demonstrated the idealness in them with their actions as well as their gestures.

In conclusion, the comparison of Odyssey and Rama brings a lot of similarities, although their situations have been superimposed in the epic. Their characters are very different in several aspects, Rama is embodied as dharma thus showing what characters an ideal husband got to have. On the other hand, Odysseys are portrayed to have many flaws; his cunning trait is manifested prominently, this is in contrast with the fact that cultural identities typically ascribed to heroes may be different in several aspects (Monier-Williams 293). Rama throughout the epic is considered as an ideal man, with mastery of emotions and being an example to whom other people should copy. Odysseys, on the other hand, is exemplified as realistic though may not exactly be like Rama, he is witty and cunning which is celebrated.

Work cited

Buckley, Martin. An Indian Odyssey. London: Hutchinson, 2008. Print.

McConnell, Justine. Black Odysseys: The Homeric Odyssey in the African Diaspora Since 1939. , 2013. Print.

Monier-Williams, Monier. Indian Epic Poetry Being the Substance of Lectures Recently Given at Oxford. Williams and Norgate, 1863.

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