Comparison of The Odyssey and Troy


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Comparison of The Odyssey and Troy

  1. 1. 2004 film, Troy based on Homer’s novel, The Odyssey
  2. 2.  The 2004 film, Troy, is a British- Maltese epic war film written by David Benioff and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is mainly based on Homer’s Iliad, but has influences from The Odyssey and The Aeneid as well. It revolves around the10 year Trojan War, in which Achilles leads his Myrmidons, along with the rest of the Greek army, in their invasion of Troy, which is lead by Hector’s Trojan army. The ending of the story (the sacking of Troy) is taken from both The Odyssey and The Aeneid.
  3. 3. The movie starts out with Trojan Princes Hector and his brother, Paris, negotiating a peace treaty with Menelaus, king of Sparta. On the same night, Paris sleeps with Helen, Menelaus’ wife, and they decide to run away to Troy together. Infuriated by the taking of his wife, Menelaus travels to Mycenae to ask Agamemnon, his brother, to go to war with him against Troy. Agamemnon agrees under the pretense of reclaiming Helen, but desires to conquer Troy. This is where Nestor first appears, and convinces Agamemnon to also recruit Achilles, as he is Greece’s finest warrior. They decide to have Odysseus, king of Ithaca, visit Phtia to persuade Achilles to fight. Achilles refuses to fight for Agamemnon, but then goes to seek counsel from his mother, Thetis. She tells him that if he stays that he will live a long, prosperous life with a family but will not be remembered. If he goes to Troy, he will find glory and be remembered but he will die. This desire to be remembered is what makes Achilles decide to go.
  4. 4. The next morning after the Greeks land on Trojan soil at the Temple of Apollo, the Greeks march on Troy. It is here that Paris challenges Menelaus to single combat, in which the winner will take Helen home to settle the conflict. Menelaus accepts, but Agamemnon plans to attack regardless of the outcome. Menelaus is about to kill Paris, but is instead killed himself when Hector intervenes. Enraged, Agamemnon orders the attack, but are forced to fall back. Ajax the Greater is slain by Hector during this battle. It is after this battle that both Nestor and Odysseus persuade Agamemnon to make peace with Achilles, as the Greeks will need him in order to win the war. The next day, after the surprise attack by the Trojans, Patroclus, disguised as Achilles, leads the Myrmidons against them and fights Hector. Thinking he is Achilles, Hector fights and defeats Patroclus. This infuriates Achilles into challenging Hector to fight the following day. That night, after Hector’s death, Priam visits Achilles and asks for his son’s body so that he may have a proper burial service. They agree to a twelve day truce, which enrages Agamemnon.
  5. 5. Seeing that Agamemnon would rather have all the Greeks slaughtered before abandoning his ambition, Odysseus plans to infiltrate the city by building a huge hollow wooden horse. The Greeks hide their ships in a nearby cove, making is seem as if they departed for home. The Trojans take the horse as an offering to Poseidon for a safe voyage home, assume victory, and bring the horse into the city. That night, the Greeks emerge form the horse, open the gates, and begin the Sack of Troy. Andromache, Hector’s wife, helps Helen and many others escape through the secret passage which Hector had shown her. It is here that Paris finds Aeneas and hands him the Sword of Troy, instructing him to lead the Trojan people, then he rejoins the fight. Briseis then kills Agamemnon by stabbing him in the back, then is rescued by Achilles. Paris then shoots Achilles in the heel, then shoots him several more times in the torso before Briseis manages to make him stop. Achilles accepts his fate, and the funeral rituals are performed for him in the ruins of Troy the next day.
  6. 6.  The film ends with a speech from Odysseus: “If they ever tell my story, let them say I walked with giants. Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die. Let them say I lived in the time of Hector, tamer of horses. Let them say, I lived, in the time of Achilles.”  In the extended edition, the Trojan refugees including: Helen ,Andromache, Paris, Briseis, and Aeneas are seen escaping into the hinterlands of Troas, hinting at the beginning of the Aeneid.
  7. 7. The film Troy is based mainly off of The Iliad, but is influenced by The Odyssey and The Aeneid as well. The obvious influence of these two works can be seen in the last part of the film: The Sack of Troy. This is what makes Odysseus famous in The Odyssey, but infamous in The Aeneid. There are several differences, however, with the film against the two novels. These differences deal mainly with the fate of certain characters within the film. The differences contradict what happens in The Odyssey in relation to the status of these characters.
  8. 8. Here is a list of some important characters and their differences between the film, Troy, and The Odyssey:
  9. 9.  Menelaus – In the film, Menelaus is shown being killed by Hector. This is contradictory to The Odyssey, as Menelaus is shown being alive and well as he talks to Telemachus about Odysseus. It is also here that the reader encounters Menelaus’ wife, Helen.
  10. 10.  Helen – Helen is last seen in the film leaving Troy with Andromache, along with other characters, including Aeneas. In Troy, this helps to unify the “love” that her and Paris share as she is now “Helen of Troy”. This is also contradictory to her being seen in The Odyssey. But, since Menelaus is dead, she has to go somewhere.
  11. 11.  Agamemnon – Agamemnon is killed by Briseis at the end of the film. In The Odyssey, Menelaus tells Telemachus of how his brother died. He states that Agamemnon was killed by his treacherous wife when he returned from the war.
  12. 12.  Aeneas – The last person of major difference is the young warrior, Aeneas, who is seen at the end of the film being given the “Sword of Troy” by Paris, who states “As long as a Trojan carries this sword, Troy will live on.” This is referring to The Aeneid, which centers around Aeneas and his adventures which conclude with the foundation of Rome. Although it is a good reference to include, to show the influence of all three texts, it is also an inaccurate inclusion. During the epic, Aeneas is seen running all over Troy, trying to escape with his loved ones, not leaving orderly through a “secret passage”. He finds his own way out of the city, but loses his wife in the process.
  13. 13. Although Troy is overall a great movie on it’s own, it is not an accurate portrayal of the epics in respect to what happens to the characters. Also, there is no inclusion of the gods in regards to their involvement in the battles, outcome of the war, ect. This alteration of character outcome can be confusing to a person just coming into Greek mythology. If a person sees the movie first, they are likely to be confused when going to read The Odyssey, as some of the characters are alive in the novel, where as they have just been killed in the film, which takes place just prior to the epic.