Posts Tagged by Rhapsody 21
|August 10, 2017||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary|
2017.08.10 | By Gregory Nagy
Toward the end of Rhapsody 21, Odysseus will pass an all-important test set by Penelope: he will string his famous bow—which none of the suitors could string, no matter how hard they tried—and he will shoot an arrow straight through all the holes of twelve axe-heads lined up in a row for this one-time occasion, designed to be viewed as the contest to end all contests in the skills of archery. This contest will determine, once and for all, who is really eligible, among all the Achaeans, to be recognized as the husband of the queen. But the winning of this ultimate contest by Odysseus is not enough: the king must now kill, with the same bow, all the would-be husbands of the queen. So, once Odysseus passes the test set by Penelope, as narrated toward the end of Rhapsody 21, the killing of the rival Achaeans can begin in Rhapsody 22. And the overall occasion for both the passing of Penelope’s test and the killing of the suitors is the beginning of a grand festival celebrating the god Apollo and the arrival of spring.
|December 16, 2016||By Gregory Nagy listed under Homer commentary|
2016.12.15 | By Gregory Nagy
The momentum of Achilles continues to heat up. The Trojans are now retreating as fast as they can, heading back toward Troy to find safety there within the sacred walls of that ancient citadel. In their hurry to get away from the field of battle, their hasty retreat has quickly turned into a chaotic and humiliating rout. Achilles is right behind them, in hot pursuit, slaughtering the fleeing Trojans left and right. The hero seems unstoppable. But Achilles meets his match when he provokes the river god Scamander, whose clear streams he has polluted with the gore of countless Trojans that he slaughters while they are desperately attempting to ford the god’s river.