Odyssey Compare/Contrast Essay



            Our third big project was an Odyssey Compare/Contrast Essay. Students had to pick a character from the book the Odyssey and another piece of work. In my project I compared Odysseus from “The Odyssey” and Everet for ‘O Brother Where Art Thou” In this project the students had to create a thesis and link it through the paper and support it.

Odyssey Compare/Contrast Essay:

                                     Odysseus vs. Everett who is a better leader???

Sometimes leaders can get distracted, even the great ones, but it is their job to realize that they made a mistake and must suffer the consequences. Some leaders only lead for the glory. Odysseus from The Odyssey and Everett from O Brother Where Art Thou were both amazing leaders and their men looked up to them. Despite their similarities there are some things that set them apart. Although Everett and Odysseus are alike, Everett has better leadership skills, which in the end helps him and his crew get to where they need to go.


Odysseus and Everett are both on a journey to get home. In The Odyssey, Odysseus has been away for twenty years. He was at the Trojan War for ten years and it took him ten more to get home. In O Brother Where Art Thou, Everett escaped from the chain gang so he can go home and win his wife back. Both men are vain. In O Brother Where Art Thou, when Everett and his men are trying to fix their get away car, Everett is supposed to be getting car parts, but he is worried about his hair treatment. This shows that Everett can get off track easily when it comes to his self-image and he doesn’t even think about what he should be doing. In The Odyssey Circe is telling Odysseus how to get home, when she tells him about a deadly creature that he should stay away from he wants to fight it any way. ”Deadly Charybdis-can’t I possibly cut and run from her and still fight Scylla off when Scylla strikes my men?” (Book 12, Lines 124-125, page 275). He says this because he thinks he is unstoppable and that he can take any monster that comes at him. He also wants the rights to brag about defeating a monster that no one else could defeat. It seems that Odysseus is more focused on the glory and the fame than the actual consequences of doing what he wants to. If he did not talk this over with Circe, Scylla would kill more of his men and maybe even himself.


Despite their similarities both men have many differences. For example, Everett is more focused on the task at hand while Odysseus is distracted. Odysseus and his men are on Circe’s island, after Odysseus saves his men from the clutches of Circe. Odysseus and his men hang out at the island for a year because Odysseus is sleeping with her. Odysseus’ men have to tell him that they have to go because they have been with Circe for a year and that its time to start heading home. The men say to Odysseus “Captain this is madness! High time you though of your own home at last, if it really is your fate to make it back alive and reach your well-built house and native land.” (Book 10, Lines 520-523, page 263). His men said this to him because Odysseus promised them that he would get them home. Instead he was fooling around with a Goddess for a year. After Everett and his men fall into the trap of the Sirens they wake up and fine that one of them is missing, Pete. Wanting all his men to get home safely Everett tells Delmar that they cannot stay because they have to finish their journey without Pete. In this case Everett shows that he is a better leader because he is more focused on getting to his destination


Odysseus steers his men in the wrong path, because of this many of his men die. Odysseus feels bad, but keeps it to himself and doesn’t tell his men. When Odysseus and his crew go towards Scylla and Charybdis he doesn’t tell them what is coming. As a result of this his men are horrified and six of his men die a horrible gruesome death.  When explaining his journey to people he explains how bad he felt and how he wanted to apologize but didn’t. This is how he explained the death of his six best men, ”I could see hand and feet already hoisted, flailing, high, higher, over my head, look- wailing down on me, comrades riven in agony, shrieking out my name for the last time!” (Book 12, Lines 267-270, page 279). Everett also steers his men in the wrong direction and lies to them. When Everett and his men escape from the chain gang he tells them that he has a treasure that they can split if they come with him. After Everett and Delmar rescue Pete, Everett tells them the truth about the treasure. He tells them that there really wasn’t a treasure; he just wanted to get his wife back. Everett feels bad and apologizes to his men for misguiding them and lying to them. Everett’s men are extremely mad at him because they only had a little more time on the chain gang and now they have another 80 years added on. Over all Everett has the audacity to tell his men the truth. This tells us that he is a better leader /man than Odysseus.


Everett and his men are all able to get where they need to go safely because Everett has better leadership skills than Odysseus, even though they are both alike. Both of the men Odysseus and Everett are very vain, they are both consumed with their self-image. Odysseus gets distracted by a lovely goddess and doesn’t leave for a while; his men have to tell him to leave. Everett however falls into the same situation, but can easily spring back into action. After Odysseus and Everett make a mistake Everett apologizes to his men and asks for forgiveness. However Odysseus keeps his feelings to himself. In all the leaders today and along time ago lead for different reasons, how would we lead in different circumstances.