We encounter a blind prophet, a Cyclops, beautiful singing sirens and one suitor whose intention is to marry Penny, yet we are left to guess where any other Odyssey -like episodes have been placed. This paper will explore how the 1930's gangster figure is a modern facsimile recalling and emulating the heroic code of the ancients.
With closer inspection most will find obvious parallels between various episodes in the poem and the film. But Nelson also embodies the arrogant, self-aggrandized personality of Achilles showcased in the Iliad.
Many readers who experience Achilles in the Iliad and his articulation of a seemingly static heroic code are later forced to reconsider their interpretation upon hearing the famous hero's regrets in the Odyssey. Achilles and Baby Face Nelson: While the film is a good teaching tool for creating modern visual anchors to accompany a close reading of the Odyssey , many have criticized the film harshly, noting that the viewer is set adrift to discern a story line from disparate pieces of plotline.
Carrie A. A far easier explanation would be that the attempt to modernize the epic has failed, proving that there is no surrogate for Homer nor modern proxy for the epic hero.
In the case of the character George "Baby Face" Nelson, I will argue that he is a reconstituted epic hero echoing the Achilles who appears in the Odyssey Book 11 lamenting his fate. One suggestion for the film's obvious omissions could be that many episodes from the Odyssey seem to have been collapsed into others due to cinematic brevity. The analogy of the bi-polar, Chicago-style gangster to the Homeric hero becomes a perfect pairing for the almost schizophrenic recantation delivered by the shade Achilles later in the Nekuia.
This paper will suggest that the Coen brothers have encrypted many episodes and characters by incarnating them in their modern relatives. This contraction creates a story in which many of the characters and travails of the hero become unrecognizable, even if they do correspond to Homer's Odyssey.