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Invention of Literature

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Abstract

The masterpieces of literature, which were created a long time ago, are still influencing readers. The main reason of power of such written works is the reference to internal moral values of the entire mankind. The protagonists of the classical or religious plots reveal uncommon and sometimes unique traits of their character. Thus, it can be the supreme physical strength or mental acuteness, the possession of skills of a mighty leader or a compassionate and patient teacher. The essay is alluded to the comparative characteristics of the protagonists of Homer's epic works as The Iliad, The Odysseus, and the Gospel, according to Matthew from the New Testament. Here, the heroism of the warrior Odysseus is compared to the braveness of the Son of God, i.e. Jesus Christ. The main features, conflicts, and the social influence of the figures will be evaluated.

The literature was and still remains one of the sources of education, cognition, and changes in the person's character and perception. The creators of novels, poems, and narratives reveal their beliefs in a plot and characters. The protagonists and minor characters have their unique traits of character, appearance, and lifestyles. According to the author's idea, he or she tries to reveal or contribute to in the peculiarities of the heroes’ actions some social interactions and situations they are involved in. The writer has an intention to communicate with readers through fictional figures in order to show another view on some problems and traditions or to enhance any moral values or an ethical category. Consequently, the literature has an ability to influence on the person by providing vivid examples. Furthermore, people are sociable beings and always observe as well as react on the behavior of other persons. In this case, literary products can effectively increase or diminish the particular features or entirely change the life direction only because of the characters' traits and actions in a book. The educational or cognitional function of the literature makes classical or spiritual works remain actual in all times. The characters of these pieces of art mainly possess the basic ethical norms, strong leadership skills of interaction in the community, and stable self-identification. Thus, they remain the pure examples of some character traits or rules of life and can easily influence readers with the vivid personality and behavior. Taking into consideration the classics, the protagonists of Homer's epic poem The Odysseus and the characteristics of Jesus Christ from the New Testament can be mentioned. The essay represents the evaluation of these protagonists' traits, their social impact, conflicts, and the comparative analysis of Odyssey’s and Jesus’ heroic behaviors.

Thus, heroism is a versatility category and can be accomplished by various means. Some people can have a good will, bravery or passionate ambitions and can be entitled as a hero. In this case, the actions are directed into the external world and relations with persons. Another approach to this trait of personality is the possession of the inner bravery, when the individual constantly fights with fear, weaknesses or desperation. This battle is aimed at the proclamation of spiritual values of life and the fulfillment of God's will.

Hence, these two different views on one ethical point define the occurrence of heroism in the external and internal environments. Thus, the actions aimed on self-performance, welfare or vanity attainment are revealed in the representation of hero’s external side. The other or inner aspect of heroism is displayed within the deep and spiritual mental levels. It represents the battlefield inside. Thus, a human being is faced with the negative and positive parts of personality and temptations of the world. However, this definition is not strict and reveals only the stresses and directions. Thus, both approaches influence the people’s characters and environments. Likewise, the external heroic side can be displayed through the legendary king Odyssey and his adventures narrated in The Iliad and The Odysseus. The manifestation of inner bravery can be seen in the words and actions of Jesus from Nazareth demonstrated in the Gospel, according to Matthew.

As for Odyssey, he reveals his personal features in various battles and dangers which he and his companions has to overcome. Related to the Greek mythology's world of mighty pantheon, he stands to be the great grandson of the god Hermes. This powerful ancestor was the gods' ambassador, the patron of sports, oratory, trading, travelers, and thieves. Hermes being also the guide to the mortal world has an ability of transition not only within the living world but as well in the surrounding of the dead ones.

Likewise, he possessed such traits of character as cunning and quick mind. Odyssey gained these qualities in a full measure. Being a king, he had the passionate ambitions, guile, and versatile intelligence. These traits of character are mainly depicted during his ten years' return back home after the long Trojan War and during fighting as a leader. Similarly to Jesus Christ, whose strong desire to tell every person the words of the Lord, he was restless. However, his ambitions were directed to general acceptance, compassion and forgiveness. He presented himself as a servant of God and a transmitter of his will having no home and possession.
During the ten years of war, Odyssey had been playing a significant role as a strategist, adviser and encourager of the soldiers' moral spirit. It was him who suggested to make a wooden horse as a gift to the Trojans. The statue was joyfully accepted. It gave a chance to Odyssey and his companions to get into the city, while hiding inside the horse. The penetration made them win the war, as they killed all the Trojans after their celebration of a false victory. Likewise, Jesus having the perfect oratory skills was able to touch peoples' hearts and change their destinies. The process of Jesus life is tightly connected with teaching of the eternal laws of God. His powerful charisma and oratory skills attracted mature people and children to him. However, it was not made by some force or tricks. The meekness and gentleness together with mighty will of his words collected people around this person.

Later, Odyssey’s powerful character was revealed in his journey back to Ithaca were his wife with a matured son were waiting for him. The main hero and his companions were sailing through the ocean. It got their ship into various dangerous situations prolonging the way home. Thus, the storms took them to one island were Cyclops Polyphemus was living. The hero and his team were trapped with the monster in order to be eaten. However, Odyssey showed his cunning and blinded the one-eyed Cyclops.

Under the coverage of the sheep fells they released from the cave as being recognized as the monster's flock. Later, Polyphemus wants the revenge and tells his father Poseidon about Odyssey’s ship. The master of the oceans caused a lot of troubles for the sailors in redirecting their course and sending rough storms. However, the leader showed bravery, firmness and devotedness to his aim in spite of obstacles. On the contrary, Jesus was plain and openhearted. He told people that they had to be as meek as children and as wise as snakes. Thus, the significant trait of this character was the boundless love and compassion. This constantly burning desire for help and enlighten every individual near was the invisible magnet, which connected listeners to the speaker. However, not only the words have the impact on people. Jesus was a restless practitioner, who fed, cured, and resurrected humans. These actions were a sort of some miracle for them, as they were emphasized only on the material and external part. Jesus did these things not for popularizing himself. First of all, his stress was the spiritual connection with God in order to fulfill his laws and commandments. However, only a few of his listeners were able to understand this calling.

There is another description of the outstanding will of protagonist of Odyssey. When they reached the island of the god of winds, Aeolus gave the main hero a bag with the west wind. It would have been the guidance straight to Ithaca. However, when they reached the shore, his companions grabbed the bag willing to find gold and released all the winds. This incident blew away their ship to the place they arrived. Therefore, Aeolus did not help them again. Only having a strong will and firm desire gave Odyssey the power to continue his journey, despite of the tricks of destiny. In the same way, Jesus, having the strong will and calling from his heart, hearing and maintaining the will of God, his true father, was practicing the fast in the desert for forty days. Then, Devil came with numerous temptations, which the hero vigorously rejected. Through all the conscious hardships, he reinforced the faith in his Father and gained the persistent will and desire for preaching. Thus, such qualities as certainty, self-consciousness, and firmness made Jesus carry virtuously the spiritual laws and values to suffering people. This faith gave him bravery to withstand all the obstacles on his future way of teaching.

Another description of Odyssey’s wit mind is the occurrence in the island where Circe was living. This beautiful witch transformed Odyssey’s men into pigs during treatment. The leader was able to resist her magic because of one herb given to him by Hermes. Thus, Circe felt in love with him and returned the human appearance to the sailors. After one year, they were able to continue their adventures.

Turning to Odyssey’s anxiety for tricks and risks, he stole the Golden Fleece from the sun god Helios. However, he managed to come safely from the anger of gods with the help of his patrons, i.e. Hermes, Circe, and Calypso.

At last, when he returned back home, Athena made Odyssey a beggar in order to find out the situation with his wife and throne. Just the next day, Penelope announced that she would marry the person able to shoot through the twelve axes’ holes. She knew that only her husband could do that. Odyssey still looking like a beggar accomplished the task; however, Penelope did not believe him. To be able to return the throne, the true king killed the suitors and proved the woman that he was her husband. Nevertheless, Jesus, being the son of God and the pronounced king of Israel, did not have any possession of property. He was travelling with his followers from one settlement to another without any care for food and shelter. However, his payment was worth of all treasures of the world. He was kind and soft speaking to people observing their understanding. Conversely, Jesus could be strict and angry in the moments when intelligence was fade with acquisitiveness, false pride or selfish desires.

His compassion drew not only to common persons but as well to his enemies. His faith remained straight in the time of treason, during tortures, and, finally, crucifix of the perishable body. The enormous heart of Jesus and absolute love gave him the acceptance of all life situations and observing the Lord's will every time and everywhere.

The ambitious character made Odyssey the person being aimed towards his purposes despite the people’s lives, god's will, environmental obstacles or tricks of destiny. However, his aim to return sometimes decreased by the wish for glory and adventures. This restless feature made his journey back home rather long.

Consequently, it can be said that Odyssey’s heroism is corresponded basically to personal needs and desires. Such qualities as quick and cunning mind, oratory and leadership skills do a significant impact on his surrounding making his desires real. Obviously, this hero was an outstanding person, whose qualities and lifestyles were still popular. However, his selfishness and craftiness showed a self-reliable and sometimes cruel personality.

Another example of heroism coming in opposition to Odyssey from inner or spiritual spheres is depicted in the personality of Jesus Christ. The life and teaching of one of the main figures of Christianity is skillfully observed in the Gospel of Matthew. Being written by one of his close followers and pupils, Matthew depicts the personality of his teacher in a mutual living and traveling. In his constant sermons and discourses, Jesus was telling about the strengths of the personal faith. The firmness of will as well as the confidence in him and God would give the treasures to his followers, which could not be able to perceive on the earth during living. The words and actions of Jesus could guide into spiritual spheres of freedom, love, knowledge, and eternity. He transferred God's will into basic rules or commandments, which directed the people’s behavior in the world in order to come into the eternal spiritual spheres. Thus, on his particular example, he revealed the mighty faith in God, the respect to the Earth, and the rejection from murder, stealing, condemnation, adultery, and covets.

In conclusion, Odyssey and Jesus can be compared by their powerful personalities and the ability of influence on others. Both of them were self-conscious and had the firm will and certainty. However, Odyssey’s purpose was the proclamation of himself. As for Jesus, he was just a servant to his Mighty Father and served others in order to reveal his love to God. Odyssey was cunning and cruel; and Jesus, on the contrary, was meek and good-hearted. Furthermore, the epic hero was a warrior on the visible battlefield with the defined monsters and enemies. As for Jesus, he was fighting inside himself with devil's temptations and with selfishness of people. However, despite the similarities and differences the deeds and achievements of both characters reveal various sides of bravery. Their outstanding portraits have the eternal memory for ages.

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