End Of The Year Digital Portfolio - The Odyssey Essay

The Odyssey and O' Brother Where Art Thou is what our Quarter 3 Benchmark was about. We read the Odyssey and then compared it to the movie O' Brother Where Art Thou. O' Brother Where Art Thou was suppose to be based off of the Odyssey. For out benchmark, we had to compare either the book and the movie, characters, the book/movie to another movie. I picked Polyphemus from The Odyssey and Big Dan Teague from O' Brother Where Art Thou. Here it is!

Polyphemus vs. Big Dan Teague


While O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “The Odyssey are set in two different times and are from two different points of view, there are some major similarities and differences between events and characters. Both “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “The Odyssey are stories that describe a man’s journey home with the help of his crew, meeting different people, creatures, and triumphing over various obstacles. Although, the episode with Polyphemus and Big Dan Teague are set in different times, they both have some likenesses. Polyphemus is an antagonist in the book “The Odyssey”; he lives on an island that Odysseus comes to with his men. Big Dan Teague is an antagonist in the movie “O’ Brother Where Art Thou,” that Odysseus meets with his men.

         Polyphemus beat up Odysseus and his men, much like when Big Dan Teague beat up Everett and Delmar, while in the beginning of the movie/book that were kind. fgbh. Big Dan Teague greeted Everett and Delmar politely when he came up to them in the restaurant and then invited them onto a picnic.  However, Odysseus and his men snuck into Polyphemus’s cave uninvited, but Polyphemus was still pleasant towards them in the beginning. “Strangers! Now who are you? Where did you sail from, over the running sea-lanes?”(Homer, The Odyssey Book 9. Lines 284-285) Even though Polyphemus is a angry giant he was still kind to them when he found out they were in his cave, just as Big Dan Teague was kind and respectful to Delmar and Everett even though he wanted to rob them. 

            Both Polyphemus and Big Dan Teague attacked their prey for a reason. However, Polyphemus’ attack could be more easily explained than Big Dan Teague’s. Big Dan Teague invited Everett and Delmar to a picnic even though he had eaten lunch already. At lunch Big Dan Teague proceeded to eat everyone else’s food, then he began to explain how he was in the business of ‘making money in the Lord’s service’. Midway through his speech Big Dan Teague suddenly breaks off a tree limb and starts hitting Everett and Delmar with it. Big Dan Teague knocks Everett and Delmar unconscious, steals their money and leaves them dazed under a tree.   Similarly, when Odysseus and Polyphemus are just meeting, Odysseus is telling Polyphemus about how he and his men got to the cave. Polyphemus asks Odysseus about his ship and where it is, Odysseus expecting a trap of some kind, answers in his crafty way. “My ship? Poseidon god of the earthquake smashed my ship, he drove it against the rocks at your island’s far cape, he dashed it against a cliff as the winds rode us in.”(Homer, The Odyssey Book 9. Lines 318-321) Polyphemus doesn’t say anything in response, but he suddenly grabs two of Odyssey’s crew and eats them. Odysseus disrespected Polyphemus, by talking about his dad, Poseidon. Odysseus’s crafty skills ends up getting two of his men killed. Everett decided to trust a stranger, Big Dan Teague knew how stupid that was of him, and decided to use that to his advantage and steal their money. Both Polyphemus and Big Dan Teague attacked, but they attacked for different reasons. They both get something though, Polyphemus gets a meal and Big Dan Teague gets some money and another meal too. Both characters were aggressive when trying to get what they want.

            In both episodes, the monster or bigger opponent was given food; Polyphemus took the food without asking and Big Dan Teague was graciously given the food. Everett and Delmar went on a picnic with Big Dan Teague who ate their food from the restaurant. Everett bought food for Big Dan Teague and he thanked Everett for it, “Thank you boys for throwin’ in that fricassee.” However, Polyphemus just decided to eat two of Odysseus’s crew because he didn’t like what they said. “Not a word in reply to that, the ruthless brute. Lurching up, he lunged out with his hands towards my men and snatching two at once, rapping them from the ground.” (Homer The Odyssey. Book 9. Lines 322-325) Polyphemus thought he could just take what he wants because he is a giant and can kill all of them at once. On the other hand, Big Dan Teague knew that he couldn’t just kill them at once because he is bigger but there are two of them. So, Big Dan Teague decided to be nice about it, while Polyphemus decided to be violent. Both bigger opponents got their food, but in different ways.

            Both episodes have many things that are alike and different, even thought they are in different points of views and points in times. They show the difference between the real world and myths. In myths, giants are viscous are huge. They take whatever they want, but they get in trouble at the end or die. While, the human gets into trouble at the end to but the human is kinder at first and then gets mean. It shows how to worlds are different. Another thing is that it shows how some humans could be like mythical creatures because they are ferocious and larger than other humans. So, from the point of view of a smaller human that one person they know could be a mythical creature.