Section I:”Odysseus the most cunning man in the world. “Odysseus, son of Procris and Cephalus of the Royal House of Athens,played a major role in the Trojan War. However, the legends of Odysseus donot begin until after the great war. At the end of the war he wasseparated from the rest of the Greek armies and was forced to wander forten years until he was reunited with his family. His journeys in those tenyears were very similar to Jason’s journey in his search for the GoldenFleece. Also, in the course of Odysseus’ adventures, he proved himself tobe not only a great hero but also a cunning and resourceful man, worthy ofthe title the most cunning man in the world.
There are many similarities between the adventures of Jason and thoseof Odysseus’. Both heroes proved themselves to be mighty warriors; Jason,when forced to battle against the soldiers of the dragon teeth and Odysseusduring the long battles of Troy. Both heroes showed extreme courage in theface of danger and neither shied from doing what was necessary to completetheir quest. Both men were also very modest and were able to except helpwhen needed, either form gods or from other mortals. Jason did nothesitate to ask for help from the princess Medea.
Odysseus accepted helpfrom a simple sheep herder in order to reclaim his home. Although thesetwo heroes had similar adventures and shared similar qualities, they werevery different. The first difference we notice between these two heroes is theirlineage. Like most Greek heroes, Jason was a direct descendant of the gods. Odysseus on the other hand was not.
He was a member of the Royal House ofAthens and not divine as were many of his peers and relatives. Odysseuswas also more compassionate than Jason. Jason used people to his own endand then disregarded them. An example of this would be his relationshipwith Medea. She made him into the hero he was, saved his life many times,and left her homeland to follow her love Jason.
Jason, however, uponreaching home with the Golden Fleece, decided to marry a princess to gainmore political power. He made this decision with no thought towardsMedea’s feelings and her love for him. Odysseus, in contrast, was far moreloyal to his family and followers. He placed their happiness and safety onan equal or greater level then his own. For instance, when he was on theisland with Calypso, the nymph, it would have been very easy for him toabandon his desire to return home and live in perfect comfort forever. Wesee his concern again on the Island with the witch Circe.
After the witchhad turned all of Odysseus’s companions into swine, Odysseus with little orno thought for his own safety, went to confront the witch to save his crew. However, the most notable difference between these heroes lies not inthey’re adventures but rather in how they approached and dealt with theirproblems. Jason, like most Greek heroes, felt that the easiest way to deal witha problem was to kill it. Odysseus, on the other hand thought of otherpossible solutions to his problems. He would try to use his intellect aswell as his brawn to accomplish his goals. Throughout his adventures andas early as the Trojan War, we see Odysseus’s cunning.
It is he who isattributed with the idea for the Trojan horse (a large hollow horse filledwith Greek soldiers). A second example was when he landed on the islandof the Cyclops during his adventures. The Cyclops demanded to know who hewas to which he answered “I am Noman” With those words he shot an arrow andblinded the Cyclops’s one eye. During Odysseus’ retreat, another cyclopsapproached the first and asked what happened to his eye. The first cyclopsresponded that no man had shot his eye. This ensured Odysseus’s escape fromthe island because the second cyclops didn’t realize there were intruders.
A last example of his cunning is at the end of his adventures. Odysseusreturned home and found all the suitors there. Dressed as a beggar, he hadno trouble retaking his bow and then killing all of the suitors. So we seethat Odysseus could rely on both his wit and his strength to save him fromdangerous situations. This is why he was given the title ” the mostcunning man in the world. “Section II: Adonis Sonnet, XVII.
Cherry-lipt Adonis in his snowie shape, Might not compare with his pure Iuorie white, On whose faire front a Poets pen may write,Whose rosiate red excels the crimson grape,His loue-enticing delicate soft limbs,Are rarely fram’d tintrap poore gazing eies:His cheekes, the Lillie and carnation dies,With louely tincture which Apolloes dims,His lips ripe strawberries in Nectar wet,His mouth a Hiue, his tongue a hony-combe,Where Muses (like Bees) make their mansion. His teeth pure Pearle in blushing Correl set. Oh how can such a body sinne-procuring,Be slow to loue, and quike to hate enduring?R. BarnfieldA classical allusion can be defined as an indirect although notaccidental reference to a Greek or Roman legend. In this poem there arethree classical allusions all referring to Greek mythology Adonis, PhoebusApollo and the Muses.
These references are intrinsic to the poem aswithout them the poem would be meaningless and hollow. The first allusion refers to Adonis, son of Phoenix and Alphesiboea, aGreek hero. This allusion was used because this poem is an ode to Adonis(the poem was written for Adonis). The second classical allusion we see inthis poem is to Apollo.
Apollo is god of prophecy, music, and archery. Heis also known as the sun god. His name was invoked in this poem in orderto show Adonis’s beauty. It shows us that Adonis was so beautiful that themighty Apollo had to dim the tint of Adonis’s cheeks. The final allusionis to the Muses. The Muses were the goddesses who inspired artists.
Fromthis we can learn that they loved beauty. This is why they are used in thispoem. They, like Apollo, are here to show us Adonis’s great beauty. Dueto the fact that Adonis is so beautiful, the Muses, patron of the artists,yearn to make their home on Adonis’s tongue in order to surround themselveswith his radiance.
These allusions add a sense of nostalgia to the poem a throw back tothe days of gods and goddesses. The poet could have used less connotativewords to tell us how beautiful he was. But Barnfield’s use of theallusions gives us a better understanding of how magnificent Adonis musthave been. By using the name of Apollo and the Muses, we see that he musthave been divine because no mere mortal could look that way, only a Greekhero.
Section III: Thor Then and NowThere are very few differences between the Thor of the Norse mythologyand Thor of today’s comic book hero. Today’s Thor is a muscular man whoappears to be in his late 20’s. He has blonde hair and wears a red cape. The old Thor had red hair and was a middle aged man. Although this Thordid not look very heroic, he had all the other trappings of Thor, Mjolnir(Thor’s hammer), the iron gloves needed to hold Mjolnir and Thor’s beltwhich doubled his strength. All of these accessories are present in thecomics as well.
In the comics, Thor has the ability to change into aregular man, with a walking stick, by tapping Mjolnir on the ground. Whenthis “normal” man then taps his walking stick on the ground, he once againbecomes the mighty Thor. The final difference between the comics and thelegend is Thor’s brother Balder. According to legend, this god was killedby a blind god (with the help of Loki god of mischief) and the gods beggedHela, goddess, of death to spare Balder the beloved. Hela refused andBalder entered the land of the dead.
In the comics Odin, the all father(Zeus), was able to save his son by sacrificing a part of his power,creating the Odinshield to preserve his son. Other than these fewdifferences the Thor you read in Marvel comic books is the same one as inthe legends. He still protects the people of midguard (earth) and waitsfor the day of Rangorak (Doom’s day) where Thor will battle Jormungandr(the snake circling midguard) and the two will kill each other and destroythe world in the process. While today’s version of Thor barely resembleshis Greek counterparts, he very much resembles his roots in the Norsemythology.