Compare And Contrast The Odyssey And Dante's Inferno

917 Words4 Pages
Literary Analysis: The Odyssey and Dante’s Inferno

Themes are fundamental and universal ideas that are explored in literary works. The epics of The Inferno by Dante and The Odyssey by Homer are two different stories with themes that that have some similarities while others have a variation. In The Odyssey, the key point is Odysseus struggling to return home. In the Inferno, Dante acts as the main character who struggles with good and evil and this translates to be the main theme of the epic. Dante explores deeply the Christian hell and heaven, which includes the immediate Purgatory. The experiences push him to cast his loyalty to good and God. The contrasts in The Odyssey and Inferno are
…show more content…
In The Inferno, Dante is the hero of the story. Dante is the man exiled from his home as a result of his political struggles and beliefs with the choice between evil and good. Dante’s heroism is in the form of humanity as he faces the challenge which all human beings struggle with. Dante’s courage is tested as he journeys through the rings of hell. According to Dante, “therefore look carefully; you’ll see such things/as would deprive my speech of all belief” (Alighieri, Dante. 1854). This is in contrast to Odysseus where Dante’s valor doesn’t encompass utmost bodily feats. The courage in Dante is displayed through analyzing his inner power. A vast setting in Inferno includes hell, Purgatory and heaven. Dante meets many shades while on his journey through…show more content…
Odysseus uses weapons and words in combating the suitors who had encroached his home when he was on a journey. Odysseus says, “You yellow dogs, you thought I’d never make it home from the land of Troy. You took my house to plunder, twisted my maids to serve your beds. You dared bid for my wife while I was still alive (Homer. 1984, 495). Such prime speeches are not evident in Dante’s Inferno as used by Homer.
One essential difference between The Odyssey and Inferno is the religious differences at that time. In ancient Greece, the belief in divinity was regarded as polytheism. Different gods signified different components of nature, either worldly or human. The goddess Athena guides Odysseus in his journey. Odysseus struggle was with god Poseidon which resulted from a past resentment. Homer refers to Poseidon as, “…………Poseidon, bears the fighter an old grudge/since he poked out the eye of Polyphemos” (Homer. 1984, 227).
The gods have an effect on the way people live on earth. When Inferno was written by Dante, Christianity was being spread rapidly as majority of the people had embraced it as depicted in today’s world. Dante regards that polytheistic divine beliefs of ancient times were referred as sin against God. This is best reflected in Inferno when hero Odysseus and poet Virgil live in hell due to their anti-Christ

More about Compare And Contrast The Odyssey And Dante's Inferno

Get Access