Literary Works : Odysseus
There are certain literary works that throughout time have influenced how modern day stories are being told and written. When you think of iconic literary pieces one always comes to mind, The Odyssey by Homer. This story will has captivated the minds of many readers for hundreds of years; it is the quintessential example of a hero’s tale. Odysseus is considered an epic hero; he bears all the traits a hero would. Odysseus was strong, mentally and physically, he was brave, and he was witty and charming. The creation of Odysseus paved the way for many hero stories to come, and that’s exactly what happened. When we think of modern day hero’s, we think superhero’s, and vigilantes, audiences are even able to find heroic traits in every Samaritans. One stand out modern day hero would be James Bond. James Bond has become a widely known icon of pop culture; he would be considered a modern-day Odysseus. James Bond is a character created by Ian Fleming. Bond bears striking similarities to that of Odysseus. He is charismatic, strong, and very brave. Both characters show striking similarities to each other; from their characteristics, to their interactions with other characters in the story, and even their journey or some would say their Odyssey. In this paper, I will be speaking about these similarities and how an epic hero like Odysseus has been able to heavily influence the creation of a modern-day hero like James Bond.
The most prominent similarity between Odysseus and James Bond are their characteristics, physically and mentally. Both characters are witty and charming, they encompass what strength is. They perform acts of courage that by default title them as hero’s. Both Odysseus and Bond are natural born leaders, they go out of their way to do the greater good and save people. Odysseus for example fought in the Trojan War and he saved many of his crew members lives. Odysseus put himself in harm’s way for the lives of others which shows the level of leadership that he bears. James Bond holds the very similar trait. Bond also puts himself in these life or death situations for the lives of others, and that’s what makes both characters’ epic hero’s. Both characters also have a knack for charming their way out of situations, which ties in with them being witty too. They both think outside of the box when it comes to dealing with certain situations.
Apart from their characteristics, Bond and Odysseus share a similarity when it comes to their journeys. Odysseus traveled for twenty years to return home to his family. He knew that there would be a possibility that his return home would not be welcomed, much like many other Greeks who were not welcomed back home during this time because of the aftermath caused by the Trojan War. The same happens to James Bond after he returns home from a War Mission. He was not greeted with a warm welcome by his people. James Bond must prove himself to his people just like Odysseus had to prove himself to his wife Penelope. The journeys that both these characters undertook were quintessential to the integrity of their characters.
Another similarity between Odysseus and James Bond are the supporting characters in their stories. Each character had a prominent villain or villains in their story. Poseidon was a great threat to Odysseus, and for many years would use his power to manipulate the sea to his advantage over Odysseus. The reason why Poseidon harbored such hate towards Odysseus related to the fact that, Odysseus blinded Polyphemus, the cyclops during his time on the island where Polyphemus lived. Polyphemus was the son of Poseidon, so by Odysseus blinding him, Poseidon released his wrath on Odysseus for years. James Bond also has a similar threat in the form of Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Ernst Stavro Blofeld is considered one of James Bond’s archenemies. Blofeld was able to utilize many means of power against James Bond, much like Poseidon did with Odysseus. One of the key similarities between Poseidon and Ernst Stavro Bloefeld was their treatment towards people. They were cold and inhumane, but when seen with their loved ones; Blofeld with his cat and Poseidon with his cyclops son, they showed compassion. This gives an identifier that although both villains seemed incapable of human emotion, their weaknesses were their loved ones just like any normal human.