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lec 5

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Yuriy Lozynsky

Lec 5 Epic poetry: from theArchaic to the Hellenistic to the Roman Epic poetry and oral composition It would be orally presented We are talking about the really long poems How we define epic: - dactylic hexameter  ie. one long finger bone, and two shorts, for 6 repetitions  the last dactyl would be two long Aristotle thought epic poetry was more It was for teaching morals and for teaching young men how to be men The subject matter would have to be of a lofty sort (eg. topic of heroes, poetry of Hesiod, the Gods, instructing you how to do something, such as Hesiod’s works and days) Poets orally composed and performed these stories The epic diction helped them remember and to recite it at different times Lord and Parrry were the first to write about techniques: Lord added to Parry’s theories How bards orally composed their poetry They looked at Hungarian poets They’d tell long poetry Units of meter that were already composed Theyd fit a banko f units To add to that and fill up their line These helped poets to compose and recite without any notes in front of them: - type scenes  eg. feasting type scenes  house maids would bring bread  cup bearers would bring wine  then …etc. thus the poet would know what he had to say next formulae and speech units these fit conveninently into whatever needed to be filled eg. and so the flashing eyedAthena did … (and then theyd fill in the line) eg. thus he or she spoke (common at end of line) epithets (proper name and adjective used to describe this person eg. swift- footedAchilles used even when it was not suitable poet conscious of what hes saying, but was not choosing his words (eg. traditional speech unit, and was orally composed) took off helmet= lines later= of the flashing helmet ---- Similes Short similes Long similies expand on short similes with a relative clause (the of the… whose cubs… Similes can occur at start of line Metaphors Some are common Compared to a shepherd (Agmennon the shepherd of the people) Iron hearted Winged words Ring composition Common structural elements (featured in paradigms and similes) abcddcba Ascending order, then descending order Paradigms They were examples used that served as a guide for the future In long tale by characters speaking in direct speech Someone speaking of hero of old Why don’t you be like Heracles of old (that’s a paradigm) ---- All this oral composition is called bards (aoidoi) Actual people who composed these long poems Eg. Homer and Hesiod Rhapsodes (rhapsodoi (pl) Recited the poems publicly (poems that had long been traditional, such as the Odyssey) Rhapsode means to weave or to sow (rhapsodes sowed words into poems) Bards often have these staffs at public Or a musical instrument called a kithera They tapped their rhythm out When most bards died off (people less about composing than reciting) People established epic guilds Specialized in certain styles or stories Homeridae The were different guilds Such as people who sang poems of the bard Kreophylus, and were called the Kreophyloi Guilds Few and far between in ancient literature, was because they were so common back then As common as rock stars and bands Pindar used the Homeridae (people of a particular guild) as a simile --- Actual bards we might know of Was Homer an actual person? But there are internal inconsistencies and contradictions in the Illiad and Odyssey One character killed off (next book you read of this person again) Language and diction differ between Illiad and Odyssey The lives of poets written by mediaval scribes and scholars We don’t have lots of information on Homer Illiad nor Odyssey neither talk of homer much Hardly gives remarks No local flavour of poetry Different dialects used, but non used more than the other From area of Sparta or asia minor we don’t know Uses all the dialects The Unitarians (argument for single ownership) Either Homer was real and wrote both Illiad and Oddyssey The analysts Favoured the thought that homer was the name for the tradition for composing poetry about the Trojan war Different people composed about them, but all under the name of Homer Cant have been written by one person Tradition which people started composing long ago, and then added to them along the years Variations of their arguments Maybe homer was real person then people kept adding to them or the analysts could say the Homeric question= whether homer existed and whether he wrote bith the Illiad and the Odyssey --- Illiad Composition was around 8 century BC The dramatic date (the date the story was set in was in the late bronze age (ca. 1200 B Date back from late bronze age to the late archaic age (what they wore, ate, etc) Picture= boars tusk helmet Was an anachronism in the Illiad Dates back from the 400 BCE This type was probably composed then, then was handed down by generations Agamemnon as supreme leader of rich mycaenae The poem Mycaena was a rich area In Homers time, Mycaenae was reduced to a mere village This lable must have been prevailed in an earlier time And used by Homer when he was composing his poetry The armour resembles those used in homers time (Archaic period) But always adds armor was made of bronze (which was hardly used in the late bronze age) Gods and temples in the Illiad and Odyssey Gods were worshipped The mycenaeans didn’t worship temples Homer was Projecting back onto that society Mishmash of cultural details This is why people say it was handed down and transformed throughout the ages --- Chracters in the Illiad Centred around the hero (Achilles) Achilles was angry= his war prize, a girl he won for a battle, Agamemmons girl was taken away, so he takes Disrespect was a very bad thing Instead of taking it up withAgamennon Decides to fight at Troy untilAghamenon gives the girl back Achilles sulking beside tents when everyone was fighting His side was losing because of that (Achilles was the great warrior) Not until he rejoins fight that things get better Doesn’t end with the fall of Troy Ends with the fall of the great Trojan hero Hector Hero strives for personal honour, not for the greater good Achilles wants to win personal renown (ie. kleos, which means renown or repute) He wanted to make himself known Araesteia is had to achieve kleos Abattle scene Hero is most prominent person in the battle He kills much people Can be renowned with physical object Prize of recognition for eminence in battle Was called geras (a prize) The gods helped and hindered whoever they wanted Zeus was the decision maker, the highest god, father of the gods But family life on Olympus was (not everyone got along all the time) Zeus supposed to keep family in check Hera jealous, always belittling Zeus Zeus has affairs with girls immortal and mortal The gods provided comic relief sometimes (Hera and Zeus) Often were more light hearted scenes with those two The fate of some hero was determined when he was born They could make you really miserable if they wanted to In control over natural occurrence (Poseidon made sb be shipwrecked) Athena was goddess who counsels heroes, had influence over what the heroes do Almost half the Illiad is in direct speech Makes the character seem more real Language is like that of the narrator But involves evaluative language often (eg. giving their opinion) rd Characters had more opinions than the narrator (3 person omniscient) The only time he steps outo f this is when he calls upon a character, and call them a bad name (eg. youre stupid, o, because you did this) The character obviously does not hear this --- What is a hero? Cape For the greater good In homerc heroes There is the main character of legend (true myths is about the gods) Heroes usually well born or noble From the distant past (pseudo historical) Remembered for their great feats of courage and strength Aperson long dead who received cult honours in exchange for help either past, present or future Often associated with their placed of origin or where theiy were buried Doing things for the greater good? Not so much in ancient Greece - Not always men of upright morals (e
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