It's common knowledge (and stated in the movie) that O, Brother, Where Art Thou? is based on the Greek Epic The Odyssey by Homer.

Most of the O, Brother characters have parallels in The Odyssey. But I can't find anyone who seems to match the bank robber George 'Babyface' Nelson.

George Nelson was a real bank robber, so it's possible he was just part of the story, and wasn't necessarily taken from The Odyssey... but I'm hoping there's a connection I'm missing.


1 Answer 1


George ‘Babyface’ Nelson is Achilles.

You can read about it in Achilles and Baby Face Nelson: Modernization of Character in O Brother, Where Art Thou? by Carrie A. Alhelm-Sizelove.

Nelson, like Achilles, is a person who fights for his ego and to gain fame. As Achilles fought in the Trojan war for fame, George is robbing banks during the Great Depression not to help the poor people but to get known. There is no deeper motive behind their doing. And George’s Achilles’ heel is his baby face.

  • 3
    Since the question is about what character from The Odyssey BabyFace represents, this answer should probably mention Achilles is not in The Odyssey. Achilles was dead before Troy ever fell. Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 23:21
  • 1
    @NathanHughes Achilles does appear in the Odyssey; in Book 11, when Odysseus ventures into the underworld.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 9:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .