Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Heroic vs. Pastoral

Heroic literature demonstrates traits of bravery, the art of manliness, action and danger. On the other hand, pastoral literature is meant to show the serenity and peacefulness of a comfortable rural life. A handsome warrior on his way home to his love versus a simple shepherd pleading for his loves hand will demonstrate the difference.

In the Odyssey, Odysseus demonstrates loyalty, bravery and perseverance, all aspects intertwined in the character of a true hero. Odysseus is purposefully kept from home, yet he continues to persevere on his journey back to Ithaka. While Odysseus is brought into all kinds of turmoil, the shepherd is not going through any intense hardships except the need for his love. 

Although the shepherd has time in his serene life to sit and plead for his love, telling her of all the wonderful peaceful things that come with living a life such as his with him, Odysseus does not. He is too busy fighting off beautiful nymphs and angry gods to write love letters to his wife also in turmoil.

The stark contrast between The Odyssey and this love note from a shepherd perfectly demonstrates the difference between heroic literature and pastoral literature