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Comparing and Contrasting Odysseus and Percy Jackson

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Why are not all humans exactly the same? What separates humans apart from each other, aside from their external appearance? Each individual human being is unique and extraordinary, due to the different characteristics they possess. Granting the fact that humans having similar qualities is a frequent occurrence, no two individuals attain identical personalities. Comparing and contrasting the characteristics of Odysseus, the main character in The Odyssey, an Epic Poem taking place in ancient Greek culture, and Percy Jackson, the main character in the novel The Lightning Thief, likenesses and differences within their character traits are easily able to be recognized. Although Odysseus and Percy both exhibited loyalty and bravery, the characteristic of confidence was not equally shared between them. Odysseus and Percy had a lot in common, especially a strong, passionate love towards their families to whom they treated with utmost loyalty. The two characters were both separated from their loved ones and were fully aware of the dangerous journeys that being reunited with them entailed.

When Odysseus was living a luxurious, care-free life on Calypso’s island, he could have easily stayed there and avoided all of the obstacles that laid in the path of returning to his family (Homer 67). Odysseus’s family was more important to him than a life of indulgences and out of entire loyalty he left the island. Similarly, Percy was also given the option to choose the effortless, self-benefitting route or the dangerous, self-sacrificing route. After his mother was seized to the underworld, he could have accepted that she was deceased and given up (Riordan 113). Percy’s loyalty and love towards his mother was so great that instead of assuming she was gone forever, he traveled to the underworld in hopes of saving her. Percy and Odysseus risked their lives and sacrificed their own safety for the safety of their families, proving their unyielding affection and loyalty towards their loved ones. Odysseus and Percy similarly demonstrated bravery as one of their most prominent characteristics within the novels.

The two heroes encountered many obstacles throughout their journeys, and both maintained courage and bravery from beginning to end. Odysseus came across numerous super natural beings, or monsters, that were aiming to harm him on his excursion, such as the Cyclopes. Although the Cyclopes was evil and intended on eating Odysseus, Odysseus revealed no signs of fear. He remained calm and constructed an intelligent plan to outsmart the monster, proving his sheer bravery (Homer 352). In the same way, Percy faced a surplus of malicious monsters, including the violent Minotaur. Percy’s determination to complete his quest resulted in an attitude of fearlessness towards the Minotaur. Filled with courage, Percy stabbed him, saving not only his life, but also the lives of his friends (Riordan 64). Both heroes possessed a remarkably strong attitude of bravery that was vital in fulfilling their missions. Although Odysseus and Percy had a lot in common, one characteristic that was not evenly shared between them was confidence.

Odysseus and Percy were both tactical, brave, and completed their journeys successfully, however, Odysseus was more confident in himself than Percy was. Percy and Odysseus’s self-confidence inequality was a result of their different cultural backgrounds. Odysseus lived between 750 and 650 B.C. in Ithaca, or the Mycenaean Civilization, where monarchy was extremely common. Odysseus grew up in the heritage of the monarchy and was appointed king of his civilization at a very young age, correspondingly boosting his self-esteem (Homer 14). “Earth sounds my wisdom, and high heaven my fame.” said Odysseus proving his confident, rather boastful attitude (Homer 438). On the contrary, Percy lived in the 2000s in modern day North America. He was always treated as an outcast throughout his childhood and was constantly being made fun of, thus lowering his morale (Riordan 6). Percy did not allow his low self-esteem to affect his performance extensively, in fact his confidence grew throughout his quest.

This characteristic of confidence is one of the few that Odysseus and Percy did not have in common, but both were able to fruitfully accomplish their missions despite the difference in self-esteem. Every human has different characteristics that make them one of a kind and help them to accomplish tasks, challenges, and ambitions. Odysseus and Percy shared the characteristics of loyalty and bravery, but did not have the quality of self-confidence in common. Odysseus and Percy used their positive characteristics to help them succeed in achieving their goals. Although differences in some of their personal traits, like self-confidence, were present, they both successfully carried out their objectives. Each human being has a diverse variety of different characteristics that make them unique. Odysseus and Percy proved that sharing characteristics or lacking certain traits does not lessen an individual’s ability to complete a certain duty.

Works Cited

Giotto. “Bronze Age Civilizations- The Mycenaean’s.” Mr. Giotto’s Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2014. Homer, and Robert Fitzgerald. The Odyssey. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1998. Print. “Mycenaean Age (600-1100 BC).” Ancient Greece. N.p., 2003. Web. 19 Oct. 2014. Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief. Vol. 1. New York: Miramax; Puffin, 2005. Print. Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

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