A Comparative Analysis of Odysseus and Achilles Essay

1207 WordsJun 18, 20085 Pages
A Comparative Analysis of Odysseus and Achilles The Trojan War was more than a series of battles between opposing forces, it was the climax of an age of heroes. The retrieval of Helen brought together many of the mythological characters of that time onto a single stage. Of the thousands of brave men who fought at Ilion, two men stood above the masses, sharing the title of hero. They were born in the line of those on Mt. Olympus, favored by the gods. Excelling in courage and skill, adored by those who followed them into battle, the actions of Achilles and Odysseus achieved a high place in Greek mythology. Through analysis we see that Odysseus and Achilles were close variations upon the same theme. The similarities between Odysseus and…show more content…
Both fathers would have been expected to raise their sons to be wise in the ways of war, and to show all the characteristics of a great Greek military leader. We also see that the mothers of both men are very concerned for them, possibly more than expected. Thetis tries to hide Achilles when he is being recruited by the Acheans, and also goes to Hephaestus to have him a new suit of armor made. Anticlea, the mother of Odysseus, literally worries herself to death when her son does not return home from the war. Odysseus and Achilles also feature a common relationship with their sons. In the afterlife, Odysseus questions his mother of the fates of his son and father (Odyssey 11.173). Only a few lines later Achilles asks the same question of Odysseus (Odyssey 11.515-517). Presumed dead, Odysseus appears to lack the kleos that would be passed on to Telemachus, a force that might empower him to take control of the House of Odysseus. Neoptolemus, on the other hand, is fully aware of the fame his father achieved and with this knowledge he joins the battle at Troy. Another twist in the father-son relationship exists in the armaments of Odysseus and Achilles. Achilles uses a spear given to him by father which no other man had the skill to wield. Odysseus had a bow that no other man could string, save only his son. Strength, along with appearance, is clearly a trait of both
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