SHort Comparison of Odysseus for The Odyssey and Portia from The Merchant of Venice

Essay by cagirl45High School, 10th grade February 2004

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Throughout the history of literature authors have written about damsels in distress, forbidden love, war, the list goes on forever, but in each there is always a hero. The hero might not be the most written about person or the person who does the most, but they are the most memorable. Portia from the Merchant of Venice and Odysseus from The Odyssey are just two of the many heroes ever written about. Finding the two heroes similarities and differences can be done quite simply by looking at their actions and underlying emotion behind their actions.

The similarities between the two heroes can first be seen through their actions. One of the first similarities that comes to mind is that both characters have suitors wanting their riches. With Portia, the suitors are after her own treasure, while Odysseus has suitors going after his wife for his treasure. Another similarity is the fact that both characters disguised themselves in their stories.

Portia dressed up as a man and Odysseus dressed up as an old beggar. Both disguised themselves to help someone, in Portia's situation it was to help Antonio. Odysseus on the other hand disguised himself to help Penelopeia, his wife, with the suitors. Both characters also have a spouse, Portia is the wife of Bassanio and Odysseus is the husband of Penelopeia.

Their marriages get into the emotional aspects of Portia's and Odysseus's similarities. They are both in love and have a symbol to represent their love for and the love from their significant. Portia and Bassanio have the ring Portia gives to Bassanio; Odysseus and Penelopeia have the marriage bed. Along with their common love for someone, they are both very cunning and sly. Both were able to get someone to do something they wanted by...