Comparring Odysseus of Homer's Odyssey and Moses of the Bible

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Comparring Odysseus of Homer's Odyssey and Moses of the Bible



Heroes and their stories have been at the center of almost every culture throughout history. There are vast differences among these legends since they have to serve each particular culture's needs. The events, settings and other characters may change dramatically, but the hero is basically the same for all. And the understanding that the use of violence is always justified in the name of the `Gods'.


The universal hero is initially one of questionable moral standing. This person doesn't decide to be a hero, which is much different then deciding to be a leader; rather he is chosen by a greater force or entity to become one, perhaps a
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Similarly, young Moses killed an Egyptian who was pestering a Jew (Exodus, 45) and Jacob forced his starving brother out of his birthright by giving him some food. These actions do not tarnish the hero; they are necessary for the development of his/her character. In Moses' case, the murder serves as metaphor for his destiny - to save the Jews. Even modern real-life heroes have this aspect of themselves. It is no secret that Martin Luther King, Jr., a modern day civil rights hero, was a bit of a womanizer in his day. But despite the improprieties, Reverend King was "called" to duty by his god to help his people. Likewise, Moses spoke directly with his lord and was given specific instructions on what to do and how to do it. He didn't choose to lead the Jews out of Egypt; his god chose him be their savior. While reluctant at first, Moses soon rose to the challenge. Faced with many challenges of his own, Odysseus also received a divine message, this time from the goddess Athena (via his seductress captor). This recurring theme of being chosen by a powerful spiritual entity is consistent in various hero stories throughout the world.


No matter when or where in the world these heroes were destined for greatness, they all had to go on a quest or journey with various trials and obstacles to overcome. Odysseus's voyage had to be completed before saving his people, while Moses' exodus and his people's salvation were one in the same. Either
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