A Comparative Recollection of The Odyssey and The Inferno

When making a sociological observation on the human race, one can draw many similarities between the vast numbers of cultures that flourish on earth. One of the commonalties sure to be witnessed by the sociologist is: mankind does many of the same fundamental aspects of life, having their specific cultures responsible for making only cosmetic changes to these tasks. Literature, like mankind, is also seen to have commonalities between different pieces of writing, with minor changes made by the writer's varied influences. Although Homer's The Odyssey and Dante's The Inferno were written roughly two thousand years apart and in cultures that have contrasting norms, both masterpieces are recognized as having many paralleled themes and subjects. The ancient Greek text and the more contemporary Italian poem are both written around the main idea of a grand journey, with differences arising in the purpose and the style of the expeditions. Also, both Homer and Dante include the thought that women play a submissive role in life, focally varying the degree of the subservience. Finally, the two texts climax with themes of betrayal. These scenes of betrayal are sternly portrayed between the covers of the literature; Homer focusing on revenging those who betrayed him, while Dante centers his attention on the punishment received in the afterlife by those guilty of betrayal. The topics shared between the two literary works, subjects that have been historically considered quite dissimilar, succeed to give both texts direction and secondary subject matter that would otherwise not be found.
The grand scale journey has, historically, been a recurring theme throughout literature, but the similarities of Homer and Dante's work distinguishes them from the majority. Among others, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and the Renaissance masterpiece Sir Gawain and the Green Knight have included the aspect of a large journey, but unlike The …


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