Posts Tagged by Homeric epic
|September 15, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy||
2018.09.15 | By Gregory Nagy
§0. In this essay, I focus on the opening of the film Casino, 1995, directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, and Joe Pesci. The story is based on the book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas, by Nicholas Pileggi, 1995, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese.
|August 16, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy, H24H, Homer commentary||
2018.08.16 | By Gregory Nagy
§0. Working on an abridged version for A sampling of comments on the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey, I have in the meantime made some revisions in the original unabridged version, concentrating on the need to fill some gaps in my analysis of Homeric poetry. Here I focus on a set of revisions centering on the Muse who is invoked by the Master Narrator in Iliad 1, at the very beginning of the epic. What led to these particular revisions in the first place was a question I was asking myself: why does this singular Muse in Iliad 1 get re-invoked in Iliad 2 as a set of multiple Muses? I have no solution as of yet, but at least the revisions I have made in my comments point toward a hoped-for answer from the re-invoked Muse herself. The illustrations that I have chosen for my post here are suggestive of the answer I am hoping for: possibly the singular Muse is Calliope, divine mother of Orpheus. I am not the first, and I will surely not be the last, to think of Calliope as the originating Muse of the Iliad, but my reasoning, however tentative, has its own merits, I think.
|November 12, 2017||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy, Homer commentary|
2017.11.12, and updated 2018.08.24 | By Gregory Nagy
This draft of mine is meant as a first step leading toward a more formal declaration shared by the three founding authors of A Homer commentary in progress: Douglas Frame, Leonard Muellner, Gregory Nagy. The signatures for our joint declaration are represented by thumbnail images of the covers for three books of ours centering on Homer. The books are listed below in the Bibliography for my draft, where the URN is indicated for each one of the three books: Frame 2009, Muellner 1996, Nagy 1990.
|August 31, 2017||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary||
2017.08.31/ updated 2018.10.13 | By Gregory Nagy
Before the Odyssey comes to an end, the Singer of Tales reaches back to what seems to be the beginning of the Iliad. It is as if the second epic, the Odyssey, could now restart before it ends by reaching back into the first epic, the Iliad. Still, there will be no restart here. The plot of that first epic had started with a grand feud between Achilles and Agamemnon, but the plot of the second epic will now come to an end with a resolution of that feud. The feuding is over, so that the two main characters of the Iliad can now take time to review not only what happened in the Iliad but also, beyond the Iliad, how the two of them died, each his own way. Since they are now dead, they have to speak ghost to ghost, but that is not enough for Agamemnon. He must also speak with the new ghosts, the suitors, who will now give him a retrospective on the Odyssey. This way, Agamemnon can compare the story of his own life with the stories of both Odysseus and Achilles. And the comparison must be most depressing for him. But the Odyssey does not end with the sad thoughts of Agamemnon. Odysseus still has to reconnect with his own ancestors, and so there needs to be a final recognition scene between the son and his father Laertes. But even after this reconnection of the generations is finally achieved, the story is still not done. The feuding that has been triggered by the killing of the suitors must end; otherwise, the story cannot end. [[GN 2017.08.30.]]
|August 23, 2017||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary||
2017.08.23/ updated 2018.10.13 | By Gregory Nagy
After the killing of the suitors, Eurykleia rushes to the bedroom of Penelope, waking her up. The queen has slept through it all—the first good night’s sleep she has had in the longest time, she admits. Eurykleia goes on to tell Penelope that Odysseus has really returned and has killed the suitors, but the patient wife will need one more test, to make it perfectly certain that she has recovered her husband. The sēma ‘sign’ of the royal bed that once was theirs and will be theirs once again can now seal their perfect mutual understanding. [[GN 2017.08.22.]]
|August 18, 2017||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary||
2017.08.17/ updated 2018.10.13 | By Gregory Nagy
At the end of Rhapsody 21, Odysseus has already passed, in rapid succession, two of three successive tests that needed to be endured by the true king of Ithaca. That is, he has already performed a stringing of his mighty bow and has already won an ultimate contest in archery by executing a perfect shot with the very first arrow that he shoots from the bow. But now, at the beginning of Rhapsody 22, the third test awaits Odysseus. He must now kill the suitors, and the successive killings that follow will ultimately eliminate all the would-be husbands of Penelope. In the end, Odysseus will be the only Achaean left standing. And he has by now been revealed as the only true husband, the only true king. So, he has become the best of the Achaeans in the Homeric Odyssey. But a question remains. Now that all the suitors have been killed, what will happen to the other characters in the Odyssey who had turned against the king in the course of his lengthy absence? Here is where things get really ugly. The extreme cruelty of the retribution that awaits these characters, as we see it narrated here in Odyssey 22, presents the modern reader with moral problems that cannot be evaded. [[GN 2017.08.16.]]