Oedipus and Odysseus
Oedipus and Odysseus
Oedipus the King and The Odyssey share many similarities. The most important and significant similarity is that both epic poems are involved in a conflict when we first encounter the poems. In The Odyssey, we learn that the main character, Odysseus, has been held captive by the nymph Calypso for twenty years. We also learn that Odysseus had finished (and won) fighting a war against the city of Troy and has been held captive by Calypso ever since. During this time, Odysseus son and wife, whom Odysseus left behind to fight in the war, have been patiently waiting for Odysseus return to his palace in Ithaca in which Odysseus is king. Telemachus, Odysseus son, has grown into a young man and hes constantly battling Suitors from destroying and wasting his fathers wealth while looking to
marry Penelope, Odysseus wife. In Oedipus the King, a wild plague has been killing a big population of the city-state of Thebes . This was a big conflict that the people in Thebes turned to King Oedipus to solve. He helped the city before by solving the riddle of the Sphinx and they needed help from him once more. During this plague, blight on the crops was present, children stillborn, women dying after giving birth, and cattle were sickened.
The main characters in both epic poems were also very similar. Both King Oedipus and Odysseus were well-respected leaders of their cities. This respect is shown in The Odyssey when Zeus ordered his daughter Athene to inform Odysseus family that Odysseus was alive. Respect was shown toward Oedipus when the people of Thebes crowned him king for solving the riddle of the Sphinx. They both showed responsibilities when Odysseus went to fight in the Trojan war and when King Oedipus took action in solving the citys plague by sending Creon, his brother-in-law, to the Oracle of Apollo to seek answers. Both characters were saviors because Odysseus helped to win the war against the city of Troy while Oedipus solve the riddle of the Sphinx and was crowned king as a result. Also, the wives of both characters were strong because Penelope (Odysseus wife)was faithful to her husband and did not remarry even though her husbands whereabouts were unknown and Jocasta (Oedipus wife) tried to calm Oedipus down when he became livid from accusations of murder. These two characters were also similar in that they both ruled kingdoms in cities of Greece.
What was also similar between these two works of literature was the fact that gods ruled the people below them. These gods controlled the humans every move like if the people were puppets on puppet strings. In other words, gods controlled the fate of the humans. In The Odyssey, Zeus was pretty much in charge of everything including the search for the god- like Odysseus. Poseidon, the sea-god who had a grudge on Odysseus, was testing Odysseus fate by making him undergo a wide variety of torments. Oedipus