The Best of the Argonauts: The Redefinition of the Epic Hero in Book 1 of Apollonius's Argonautica
This revelatory exploration of Book One of the Argonautica rescues Jason from his status as the ineffectual hero of Apollonius' epic poem. James J. Clauss argues that by posing the question, "Who is the best of the Argonauts?" Apollonius redefines the epic hero and creates, in Jason, a man more realistic and less awesome than his Homeric predecessors, one who is vulnerable, dependent on the help of others, even morally questionable, yet ultimately successful.
In bringing Apollonius' "curious and demanding poem" to life, Clauss illuminates two features of the poet's narrative style: his ubiquitous allusions to the poetry of others, especially Homer, and the carefully balanced structural organization of his episodes. The poet's subtextual interplay is explored, as is his propensity for underscoring the manipulation of the poetry of others through ring composition.
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abandonment Acastus Achilles Agamemnon Alcimede allusion Apollo Apollonio Rodio Apollonius Rhodius Apollonius's Ardizzoni Argo Argonautic expedition Argonautica Argonauts Argus and Acastus Artemis assembly Athena banquet battle Blumberg Book Boreads Callimachus Campbell Catalogue central cloak Colchis context contrast Cyzicus Delage departure Doliones encounter epic episode FGrHist fleece Frankel Gegeneis Glaucus gods Greek Hector Hellenistic Hephaestus Heracles Hermes hero heroic Homeric model Hylas Hylas's hymn Hypsipyle Hypsipyle's ibid Idas and Idmon Idmon Iliad imitation Iolcus island Jason journey Lemnian Lemnian women Lemnos lines Livrea Medea mission Mooney Mount Dindymon Muses narrative Nausicaa nymphs observed Odyssean Odysseus Odysseus's Oros Arkton Orpheus Orpheus's Pagasae parallels passage Peleus Pelias Phaeacian phrase poem poet poetry Polyphemus Polyxo Poseidon Proemium reader recalls reference Rhea role sacrifice sail scene scholiast ship simile skill speech structure suggests supra Telamon Theiodamas Thetis Tiphys veixo Vian Zeus