Posts Tagged by Odysseus
|October 19, 2018||By Miriam Kamil listed under Guest Post, H24H||
2018.10.19 | By Miriam Kamil
§1. In the first part of this essay, I examined a passage from the Odyssey referred to in the text as an ainos. This was the improvised story told by Odysseus to the swineherd Eumaios in Odyssey 14, wherein Odysseus’ fictitious persona forgets and then obtains a cloak while out on ambush during the Trojan War. Eumaios intuits that he is hearing an ainos and correctly interprets its hidden message: his guest would like a cloak for the night. By examining this passage and considering Nagy’s definition of a Homeric ainos, we saw how Homeric ainoi are micro-narratives that parallel their macro-narrative both in characters and in plot. By means of this parallelism, the speaker of the ainos expresses a desire for a certain outcome in the macro-narrative by ending the micro-narrative with that desired outcome. This paralleling of characters and plot is present in other, non-Homeric ainoi as well. Non-Homeric ainoi, like those of Hesiod and Aesop, coincide with the modern concept of ‘fables’ and possess many of the same qualities as Homeric ainoi. The primary difference lies in the apparent truthfulness of Homeric ainoi. Hesiodic and Aesopic ainoi tend to be fantastical, which signals the presence of a deeper meaning to the listener. Homeric ainoi, on the other hand, are consistently presented by their speakers as truth. It is the listener’s task to detect a deeper meaning and thereby prove him- or herself mentally qualified to understand the ainos. We saw, for example, how Eumaios’ detection of an ainos has consequences for the plot of the Odyssey, when he becomes an ally to Odysseus against the suitors.
|October 4, 2018||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy||
2018.10.04 | By Gregory Nagy
§0. The devinalh, or ‘guessing song’, was a special kind of love song composed by troubadours in the song culture of medieval Provence and later adapted by master poets of the Renaissance, most notably by Petrarch. The devinalh is specially coded, so that only the one who is loved will understand—supposedly—the words of the lover who composes and then sings the song. The problem is, the code will work only if the love is truly mutual. This problem is comically explored in the opera buffa Le nozze di Figaro, or The Marriage of Figaro, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, première 1786. In this opera, a comic re-adaptation of a devinalh is sung by a mezzo soprano in the role of a promiscuous boy named Cherubino.
|September 28, 2016||By Keith Stone listed under Guest Post|
2016.09.28 | By Keith Stone
Why does the epic narrative allow Telemakhos, whom it shows on a quest to connect with his father, to remain emotionally unaffected by the stories about Odysseus that he hears from Helen and Menelaos in Odyssey 4?
|June 3, 2016||By Douglas Frame listed under Guest Post|
An exploration of of the relevance of Odysseus’s words about kingship, shared with the Hesiodic Theogony, to the Ionian setting of Homeric poetry.
Just to look at all the shining bronze here, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven: Seeing bronze in the ancient Greek world
|February 18, 2016||By Gregory Nagy listed under By Gregory Nagy|
In Odyssey 4, as soon as the young hero Telemachus arrives as a visitor to Sparta, home of king Menelaos and his queen Helen, he feasts his eyes on all the shining splendor of their royal palace. As he takes it all in, he cannot resist saying out loud that he has never before seen anything quite so dazzling. My essay here is about the visual power of bronze as it works its way into the imagination of ancient Greek verbal as well as visual art.