Only a few films are transcendent, and work upon our minds and imaginations like music or prayer or a vast belittling landscape. Most movies are about characters with a goal in mind, who obtain it after difficulties either comic or dramatic. “2001: A Space Odyssey'' is not about a goal but about a quest, a need. It does not hook its effects on specific plot points, nor does it ask us to identify with Dave Bowman or any other character. It says to us: We became men when we learned to think. Our minds have given us the tools to understand where we live and who we are. Now it is time to move on to the next step, to know that we live not on a planet but among the stars, and that we are not flesh but intelligence.
We're not the only ones who get a little giddy when we talk about the Odyssey . Generations of readers have created their own original works inspired by Homer's epic. Just a quick sampling, from the 1st century BCE to the 21st century CE: Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid ; Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem " Ulysses "; James Joyce's novel Ulysses ; countless paintings (check out Henry Fuseli's " Odysseus in front of Scylla and Charybdis "); Cream's song " Tales of Brave Ulysses "; the Cohen Brothers' movie O Brother, Where Art Thou ?—and the list goes on.
Throughout The Odyssey, Greek values and the Greek culture are constantly shaped by the flow of the author’s pen, which narrates a story with an intricate plot. The epic allows the modern-day public know about the times when men fought with their hands and their heads, when the gods dominated cultures, and when love and faithfulness meant something. The Odyssey is a great work of a great poet, Homer, who not only captures the essence of the ancient Greek spirit and culture, but also tells a story that can be passed down from generation to generation, without any fear of growing old.