ENGB30H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Long, Long, Long, Dactylic Hexameter, Epic Poetry

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11/01/2016
CLASSICAL MYTH AND LIT
THE ILIAD: BOOKS 1 & 3
Homer (8th century BCE?)
- Some controversy surrounding if a person named Homer actually existed
- Generally accepted that he is the oldest author in Western literature
- Epic poem The Iliad generally accepted as the oldest literary work in Western history
- The Iliad and The Odyssey are believed to be compilations of earlier oral literature
o He did not just write down what he heard, based on of the length of the works and how
little inconsistencies there are, he probably pieced many things together and made
things more consistent
- Tradition of Homer as a blind wandering bard or minstrel
o Authors of Iliad and Odyssey sae perso? Master ad appretie?
o Writing of both are very consistent, which leads us to believe that it was written by the
same person.
Hoeer, a appretie ould ery easily adapt a aster’s style.
o Whoeer rote it, it’s oious that hoeer rote The Odyssey knew The Iliad inside
out
The Iliad: Literary Form (could also be applied to The Odyssey)
- Written in dactylic hexameter
o Dactyl
Greek: long syllable followed by two short syllables
Eglish: stressed syllale folloed y to ustressed syllales e.g. siile;
horrile; uffalo; Odyssey
o Spondee (2 long syllables) substituted frequently to avoid singsong pattern
- Examples of word choice strictly limited by meter:
o Hoer’s differet aes for the Greeks
Achaians short, long, long
Danaans short, short, long
Argives long, long, long
o Other examples of alternative names:
“o of Peleus Ahilleus
“o of Atreus Agaeo
“o of Croos )eus
Alexandros (Paris)
- Formulaic expressions
o Ready made expressions that are ready to be plugged in
o Useful for bards trying to recite these poems off the top of the heads
o Homeric epithets
Archilleus of the swift feet
Resourceful Odysseus
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Document Summary

Some controversy surrounding if a person named homer actually existed. Generally accepted that he is the oldest author in western literature. Epic poem the iliad generally accepted as the oldest literary work in western history. The iliad: literary form (could also be applied to the odyssey) Written in dactylic hexameter: dactyl, greek: long syllable followed by two short syllables, e(cid:374)glish: stressed sylla(cid:271)le follo(cid:449)ed (cid:271)y t(cid:449)o u(cid:374)stressed sylla(cid:271)les (cid:894)e. g. (cid:862)si(cid:373)ile(cid:863); (cid:862)horri(cid:271)le(cid:863); (cid:862)(cid:271)uffalo(cid:863); (cid:862)odyssey(cid:863)(cid:895, spondee (2 long syllables) substituted frequently to avoid singsong pattern. Sometimes so similar that in different books, there will be sections that are word for word the same as another scene: sacrifice/libation scenes (1. 458-466; 2. 421-429, battle scenes (cid:862)ar(cid:373)i(cid:374)g of the (cid:449)arrior(cid:863) s(cid:272)e(cid:374)es. We did(cid:374)"t start fro(cid:373) the (cid:271)egi(cid:374)(cid:374)i(cid:374)g of the (cid:449)ar, (cid:449)e start i(cid:374) the (cid:373)iddle. Leto: neutrals: thetis and zeus, thetis is a(cid:272)hilleus"s (cid:373)other, does (cid:374)ot care for who wins, but rather how the war could benefit her son.

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