Comp Lit 04.14.09 - Comparative Literature 1 Oral...

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Comparative Literature 04/14/09 1. Oral Traditions a. Features of Homeric Style i. Repetition 1. Agamemnon receives dream (we see it 3 times) ii. Formulaic Epithets 1. Gods and heroes are characterized by set phrases that recur throughout epic b. Sense that Iliad wasn’t written by Homer; debates between… i. Analysts 1. Suggested that composed by several poets (2-3) 2. Tracking layers in the Iliad and Odyssey 3. What was written by original poet and what was added later ii. Unitarians 1. Insisted on unity of Iliad and Odyssey 2. One master poet iii. Both still thinking of poets sitting down and writing Iliad. c. Turning point--Perry and Lord i. The Traditional Epithet in Homer (1928) ii. Homeric Metric and Formulas iii. Both result from analysis of diction of the Iliad (and breaks in hexameter) iv. For one particular grammatical case (the end of word changes based on its use in the sentence), there is only one epithet attached to each character 1. For instance, Achilles divine when Achilles is the subject (nominative). a. Atrei I des te a I nax an I dron kai II dios Achilleus b. Son of Atreus, lord of men godlike Achilles 2. Similarly, Achilles is swift-footed when he is in the nominative position after the fourth foot sezura a. When Achilles is the possessor of something--i.e. Anger of Achilles (genitive) b. Me nin a I ei de thea (masculine sezura here) Pe I le iade I o Achi I le os c. Achilles son of Peleus v. Hypothesizes that these epithets have to do with oral circumstances
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Comp Lit 04.14.09 - Comparative Literature 1 Oral...

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