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The Ramayana and Odyssey

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jbanks157
Words 683
Pages 3
Joseph Banks

Dr. Harl

English 201

December 15, 2012

The Ramayana and The Odyssey The Ramayana and The Odyssey have been huge pieces of literature worldwide for many years. The Odyssey and The Ramayana are two different stories that are very similar in ways people may not realize. Odysseus and Rama are both great heroic men that have love for their wives. These heroes had set voyages that had obstacles they had to conquer.
The historical contexts of these two tales are similar as well. Both of these stories being so old were started by oral traditions. They were passed on from generation to generation through the oral traditions used back then. Oral traditions used to be the only way that the common people could communicate their stories. Culturally both stories came from the same background to an extent. They each were from places ruled under monarchies where kings ruled over all the people. One difference is that The Ramayana was at a state of peace whereas The Odyssey tells its story when they are not at peace they are at war.

Rama is exiled into the Dandaka Forest and Odysseus has been at war and has had trouble getting back for nearly twenty years. Each one is having a hard time getting what they desire and the obstacles along the way do not help. Rama, his wife Sita, and his younger brother Lakshmana are exiled in the forest.” I cannot live without my Sita.”(Ramayana) This is when the ten-headed king of Lanka abducts Sita while Rama is away. Odysseus was on a voyage back to his home in Ithaca with his crew of men but was having major issues. He would get blown off course and land on unknown islands, one of which had a Cyclops living on it and they got trapped in his cave, but thanks to Odysseus and his sharp intellect they outsmarted the beast and could escape. Odysseus got trapped on the land of the Lotus Eaters. Odysseus and his men were trapped here for several years because the lotus had a hold on their minds and bodies and time flew by. Odysseus also got stuck on Calypso’s island. Poseidon tries to stop Odysseus from returning home. “all except Poseidon. He raged on, seething against the great Odysseus till he reached his native land” (Homer). Poseidon the god of the seas was angry with Odysseus and was doing all he could to make sure he never saw Ithaca again. Each of the stories has similar characters, Rama and Odysseus are each very rational; this helps them to conquer the obstacles that are put in their way. Sita and Penelope are the wives of the two men and they each are apart from their spouses for a period of time with obstacles of their own. Ravana captures Sita and he is in love with her so the whole time she is in a struggle not to give in to Ravana. Odysseus promised Penelope that he would return by the time their son Telemachus had a beard, and after he grows his beard she should move on and leave Odysseus behind. The whole time Odysseus is gone suitors are moving into his kingdom and they are all trying to get Penelope to marry them. “We will devour your worldly goods and wealth as long as she holds outs.”(Ramayana) She is in a constant struggle to not give in to temptations and to stay loyal to Odysseus. Each man, Rama and Odysseus, have people with them to support them. Rama has his youngest brother Lakshmana with him in the forest and he his helping him protect Sita, but they get tricked when she gets captured. The characters help each of these stories to be so popular because men idolize the heroes because of their strong will and intellectual minds and women want to be like the women from the stories because of their morals and loyalty.

Works Cited “The Norton Anthology of World Literature.” Homer. The Odyssey. New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Company, 2009. 274 – 551.

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