Reading the Odyssey: Selected Interpretive Essays
Seth L. Schein
Princeton University Press, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 278 pages
This wide-ranging collection makes available to specialists and nonspecialists alike important critical work on the Odyssey produced during the last half century. The ten essays address five major concerns: the poem's programmatic representation of social and religious institutions and values; its transformation of folktales and traditional stories into epic adventures; its representation of gender roles and, in particular, of Penelope; its narrative strategies and form; and its relation to the Iliad, especially to that epic's distinctive conception of heroism.In the introduction, Seth L. Schein describes the poetic background to the work and suggests a variety of interpretive approaches, some of which are developed in the essays that follow. These essays include previously published work by Jean-Pierre Vernant, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Pietro Pucci, and Charles P. Segal. There also are a new essay by Laura M. Slatkin, two revised and expanded ones by Nancy Felson-Rubin and Michael N. Nagler, and three appearing in English for the first time by Uvo Hlscher, Karl Reinhardt, and Vernant. The result is a collection that juxtaposes older, often hard-to-find articles with significant newer pieces in a way that allows for a fruitful dialogue among them.Seth L. Schein is Professor of Comparative Literature and Classics at the University of California, Davis. His books include The Mortal Hero: An Introduction to Homer's "Iliad" and The Iambic Trimeter in Aeschylus and Sophocles: A Study in Metrical Form.
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Achaeans Achilles Agamemnon Aiolos Alkinoos Arete Athene bard becomes character Charybdis Circe Circe adventure companions contest contrast cunning Cyclops dead death deeds Detienne Die Odyssee divine dread goddess elements epic episode Essays Eurylochos fairy tale fairy-tale adventures fame fate first-person narrative folktale glory gods Greek Helen Hermes hero heroic heroism Hesiod Homer human husband Iliad immortal island Ithaca journey Kalypso king kleos land living magic marriage means Menelaos metis mortal motif myth mythical Nagy narrator Nekyia nostos Odys Odyssean Odysseus Odysseus's oikos Penelope Penelope's Phaeacians Phaiakes plot poem poem's poet poetic poetry Polyphemos Poseidon prophecy Proteus Pylos question return home sacrifice scene Scheria Segal ship similes sing singer Sirens Skylla song speech story Suitors symbolic takes Teiresias Telemachos tells theme Thetis Thrinakia tion tradition Trojan Troy turn Underworld Vernant weaving whole wife wonders words wrath Zeus