Last Thursday on September 13, 2012 I attended the performance of “The Odyssey” by Odds Bodkin. This performance was very interesting and unique because it portrayed the Greek epic in a way I have never seen before. “The Odyssey” by Homer is an epic about a hero named Odysseus and his struggle to get back to his family after twenty years at battle.
In “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne a man name Aylmer continuously comments on the birthmark on his wife’s face and asks why she does not want to remove it. The wife becomes offended because she is fond of her birthmark and believes it sets her apart from other women. Many people are fond of her birthmark and find it a unique quality, except her husband. She agrees to have him remove it himself and he is overjoyed because he thinks that by removing this “imperfection” his wife will ultimately be perfect. However, in his attempts to remove the birthmark she dies. In “The Odyssey” Odds Bodkin speaks about how Odysseus is traveling home to his family and how he will do anything and everything to get back to them after their long time apart. The love Odysseus has for his wife and son is so strong that any imperfection is overlooked because the time apart makes everything else irrelevant. Odds Bodkins also points out that even though the journey was long, treacherous, and full of temptations his undying love and thoughts of his family kept him going. Odysseus and Aylmer are similar in the sense that they both are doing difficult things for the ones they love the most.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman a very ill woman is put in a room with ugly yellow wallpaper that she cannot stand the sight of at first. As the time goes by and the more she looks at the wallpaper, she begins to envision a woman behind the wallpaper trying to get out. Since she is calm and quiet her husband believes she is becoming better. However, she is slowly becoming insane the longer she is locked in room alone with the wallpaper and her thoughts. She soon becomes obsessed with the woman behind the wallpaper and in turn becomes that woman. In the performance by Odds Bodkins, Odysseus is traveling many miles to see his estranged family. The events he endured were nevertheless insane and crazy, but he encountered these things just to return to his loved ones. Just as the woman in the room goes insane about the woman behind the wallpaper, Odysseus becomes insane about returning. In the scene where Odysseus is inside the Trojan Horse, he truly begins to feel the distance from his family and the rage of being at war for so long that he must break out of the horse and attack the Trojans so he can return to his wife and son. The insanity in both pieces of literature are similar because they relate to a type of obsession.
In the poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth, the speaker emphasizes the beauty of nature and how happy one must be in such a beautiful place. The poem and the epic relate because each speak about a beautiful place. In “The Odyssey” Odds Bodkin portrays Ithaca as a beautiful place with birds, trees, and bright skies. In “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” Wordsworth describes a field of daffodils that are so beautiful that it makes the speaker overjoyed. The description of natural beauty in each selection brings a common ground into the mix because one speaks of nature in general and the other speaks of a long difficult journey from a never-ending war.
In conclusion, the variety of literary pieces relates in a strange way, but each has their own unique style and language that allows the relationship to form. Although the connections may be hard to comprehend or even find within the pieces, looking a little deeper into their means shows a correlation of differences and similarities.