O Brother, Where Art Thou?

O Brother, Where Art Thou?: The Relationship Between an Epic Poem and the Film It Inspired College

The Coen Brothers' 2000 adventure film O Brother, Where Art Thou? is an American adaptation of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. This recent comedy follows three escaped convicts as they search for a hidden treasure. Despite the considerable gap between the creation of these two works, the film reflects many of the common themes found in the epic poem. But, what makes the film an adaptation rather than a direct re-creation is its setting; the movie takes place within an caricatured version of the American south during the Great Depression. Therefore, solely based upon where it takes place, the movie is unable to fit in with other themes and occurrences that are present within Homer’s poem. Also, due to where and when the movie takes place, customs embedded within the culture of the film give the story an ability to adapt to the occurrences in the The Odyssey. Versions of these events still happen in the movie; they just pertain to the culture in which it is set.

As a whole, the setting of O Brother, Where Art Thou? is the main cause of discrepancy and unity with The Odyssey, which definitely indicates the quality of this adaptation. The most common similarities between the Coen film and the Odyssey are either thematic or...

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