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Section I:"Odysseus the most cunning man in the world."

Odysseus, son of Procris and Cephalus of the Royal House of Athens,

played a major role in the Trojan War. However, the legends of Odysseus do

not begin until after the great war. At the end of the war he was

separated from the rest of the Greek armies and was forced to wander for

ten years until he was reunited with his family. His journeys in those ten

years were very similar to Jason's journey in his search for the Golden

Fleece. Also, in the course of Odysseus' adventures, he proved himself to

be not only a great hero but also a cunning and resourceful man, worthy of

the title the most cunning man in the world.

There are many similarities between the adventures of Jason and those

of Odysseus'. Both heroes proved themselves to be mighty warriors; Jason,

when forced to battle against the soldiers of the dragon teeth and Odysseus

during the long battles of Troy. Both heroes showed extreme courage in the

face of danger and neither shied from doing what was necessary to complete

their quest. Both men were also very modest and were able to except help

when needed, either form gods or from other mortals. Jason did not

hesitate to ask for help from the princess Medea. Odysseus accepted help

from a simple sheep herder in order to reclaim his home. Although these

two heroes had similar adventures and shared similar qualities, they were

very different.

The first difference we notice between these two heroes is their

lineage. Like most Greek heroes, Jason was a direct descendant of the gods.

Odysseus on the other hand was not. He was a member of the Royal House of

Athens and not divine as were many of his peers and relatives. Odysseus

was also more compassionate than Jason. Jason used people to his own end

and then disregarded them. An example of this would be his relationship

with Medea. She made him into the hero he was, saved his life many times,

and left her homeland to follow her love Jason. Jason, however, upon

reaching home with the Golden Fleece, decided to marry a princess to gain

more political power. He made this decision with no thought towards

Medea's feelings and her love for him. Odysseus, in contrast, was far more

loyal to his family and followers. He placed their happiness and safety on

an equal or greater level then his own. For instance, when he was on the

island with Calypso, the nymph, it would have been very easy for him to

abandon his desire to return home and live in perfect comfort forever. We

see his concern again on the Island with the witch Circe. After the witch

had turned all of Odysseus's companions into swine, Odysseus with little or

no thought for his own safety, went to confront the witch to save his crew.

However, the most notable difference between these heroes lies not in

they're adventures but rather in how they approached and dealt with their


Jason, like most Greek heroes, felt that the easiest way to deal with

a problem was to kill it. Odysseus, on the other hand thought of other

possible solutions to his problems. He would try to use his intellect as

well as his brawn to accomplish his goals. Throughout his adventures and

as early as the Trojan War, we see Odysseus's cunning. It is he who is

attributed with the idea for the Trojan horse (a large hollow horse filled

with Greek soldiers). A second example was when he landed on the island

of the Cyclops during his adventures. The Cyclops demanded to know who he

was to which he answered "I am Noman" With those words he shot an arrow and

blinded the Cyclops's one eye. During Odysseus' retreat, another cyclops

approached the first and asked what happened to his eye. The first cyclops

responded that no man had shot his eye. This ensured Odysseus's escape from

the island because the second cyclops didn't realize there were intruders.

A last example of his cunning is at the end of his adventures. Odysseus

returned home and found all the suitors there. Dressed as a beggar, he had

no trouble retaking his bow and then killing all of the suitors. So we see

that Odysseus could rely on both his wit and his strength to save him from

dangerous situations. This is why he was given the title " the most

cunning man in the world."

Section II: Adonis

Sonnet, XVII.

Cherry-lipt Adonis in his snowie shape,

Might not compare with his pure Iuorie white,

On whose faire front a Poets pen may write,

Whose rosiate red excels the crimson grape,

His loue-enticing delicate soft limbs,

Are rarely fram'd tintrap poore gazing eies:

His cheekes, the Lillie and carnation dies,

With louely tincture which Apolloes dims,

His lips ripe strawberries in Nectar wet,

His mouth a Hiue, his tongue a hony-combe,

Where Muses (like Bees) make their mansion.

His teeth pure Pearle in blushing Correl set.

Oh how can such a body sinne-procuring,

Be slow to loue, and quike to hate enduring?

R. Barnfield

A classical allusion can be defined as an indirect although not

accidental reference to a Greek or Roman legend. In this poem there are

three classical allusions all referring to Greek mythology Adonis, Phoebus

Apollo and the Muses. These references are intrinsic to the poem as

without them the poem would be meaningless and hollow.

The first allusion refers to Adonis, son of Phoenix and Alphesiboea, a

Greek hero. This allusion was used because this poem is an ode to Adonis

(the poem was written for Adonis). The second classical allusion we see in

this poem is to Apollo. Apollo is god of prophecy, music, and archery. He

is also known as the sun god. His name was invoked in this poem in order

to show Adonis's beauty. It shows us that Adonis was so beautiful that the

mighty Apollo had to dim the tint of Adonis's cheeks. The final allusion

is to the Muses. The Muses were the goddesses who inspired artists. From

this we can learn that they loved beauty. This is why they are used in this

poem. They, like Apollo, are here to show us Adonis's great beauty. Due

to the fact that Adonis is so beautiful, the Muses, patron of the artists,

yearn to make their home on Adonis's tongue in order to surround themselves

with his radiance.

These allusions add a sense of nostalgia to the poem a throw back to

the days of gods and goddesses. The poet could have used less connotative

words to tell us how beautiful he was. But Barnfield's use of the

allusions gives us a better understanding of how magnificent Adonis must

have been. By using the name of Apollo and the Muses, we see that he must

have been divine because no mere mortal could look that way, only a Greek


Section III: Thor Then and Now

There are very few differences between the Thor of the Norse mythology

and Thor of today's comic book hero. Today's Thor is a muscular man who

appears to be in his late 20's. He has blonde hair and wears a red cape.

The old Thor had red hair and was a middle aged man. Although this Thor

did not look very heroic, he had all the other trappings of Thor, Mjolnir

(Thor's hammer), the iron gloves needed to hold Mjolnir and Thor's belt

which doubled his strength. All of these accessories are present in the

comics as well. In the comics, Thor has the ability to change into a

regular man, with a walking stick, by tapping Mjolnir on the ground. When

this "normal" man then taps his walking stick on the ground, he once again

becomes the mighty Thor. The final difference between the comics and the

legend is Thor's brother Balder. According to legend, this god was killed

by a blind god (with the help of Loki god of mischief) and the gods begged

Hela, goddess, of death to spare Balder the beloved. Hela refused and

Balder entered the land of the dead. In the comics Odin, the all father

(Zeus), was able to save his son by sacrificing a part of his power,

creating the Odinshield to preserve his son. Other than these few

differences the Thor you read in Marvel comic books is the same one as in

the legends. He still protects the people of midguard (earth) and waits

for the day of Rangorak (Doom's day) where Thor will battle Jormungandr

(the snake circling midguard) and the two will kill each other and destroy

the world in the process. While today's version of Thor barely resembles

his Greek counterparts, he very much resembles his roots in the Norse


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