The Odyssey 4


A Comparison of Kings-Odysseus vs. Dusyanta
Even though Homer's The Odyssey (eighth century B.C.) and Kalidasa's Sakuntala (fourth century A.D.) were written more than twelve centuries a part, many similarities can be found in the roles that the rulers in each play. The stories not only reflect the values of the cultures and times, but they also give a glimpse into the public and private lives of the nobility. Based on the vivid descriptions of their interactions with others and private thoughts, insight is gained into the responsibilities and obligations of each. These responsibilities are most apparent in the main 'rulers' of each story--Odysseus from The Odyssey and Dusyanta from ...

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escaped destruction by the Laistrygonians when they made landfall here and are "worn out and sick at heart, tasting [their] grief" (153). Odysseus knows that he must take care of his men, so he decides to leave the ship and find food. It is interesting here that the crew sits on the beach for two days and none of the men make an effort to find food themselves. Instead, they wait helplessly for their captain to bring food to them. Shortly after replenishing their morale and sending a platoon to explore, Eurylokhos comes running in terror to explain that Kirke had captured the men. At this point Odysseus transitions from being a passive leader to an active one. Feeling responsible for his men, he immediately arms himself and says to Eurylokhos, "Let me go, / as I see nothing for it but to go" (290-1). When he returns to the ship after defeating Kirke, his men begin crying as if they have in sight what they want most-their homeland. They are so pitiful that they are compared ...

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Dusyanta is only having a joke played on him by Matali, Marica's charioteer, he acts as though he is being threatened himself. When the Buffoon calls desperately for his help, the king comes quickly armed with his bow. The fact that the Doorkeeper and the Buffoon both rely on Dusyanta for help reinforces his role as being the protector of others. After the Buffoon is released, Matali reveals himself and surprisingly bears the message that Indra, king of the gods, also requests Dasyunta's protection. He says that "There is an army of demons descended from one-hundred- / headed Kalanemi, known to be invincible…" (491-2). Seemingly impossible, even the demons, which are ...

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Added: 1/31/2007 07:26:34 AM
Category: English
Words: 1777
Pages: 7

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