Homer: Odyssey Books XIX and XX, Book 19

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 30, 1992 - History - 248 pages
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The Odyssey, besides being one of the world's first adventure stories, is a poem of great subtlety, rich in irony and sophisticated characterization. The poet's art is amply illustrated by books XIX and XX, in which Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, spends the night in his own palace and lays plans for his awesome revenge. Particularly memorable is the episode in which Penelope converses with her husband without suspecting his identity. In this edition, Richard Rutherford provides not only detailed comment on the action, characterization, and style of the books in question, but also, in an extensive introduction, a general survey of the Odyssey as a whole, laying special emphasis on the qualities of the second half of the poem. He also attempts to contribute to the literary criticism of the poem on a verbal level, by considering the poet's use of formulae, rhetorical technique, and similes. This volume is intended for readers of the Odyssey at all stages. The commentary gives extensive linguistic guidance for beginners; and the introduction, in which all Greek is translated, is intended to be accessible to any readers interested in Homer as a poet.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
b The second half of the Odyssey
7
Odysseus
16
b Odysseus in the Odyssey
20
Penelope
27
b Penelope in book 18
29
c Penelope and Odysseus in book 19
33
Transmission and technique
38
Metre grammar and text
78
b Grammar
85
c Note on the text
92
OMHPOY O𝚫Y𝚺𝚺EIA𝚺 T
99
OMHPOY O𝚫Y𝚺𝚺EIA𝚺 Y
119
Commentary
132
Bibliography
238
Indexes
243

b Formulae and the oral style
47
c Rhetoric
58
d Similes
73

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1992)

Homer is the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, the two greatest Greek epic poems. Nothing is known about Homer personally; it is not even known for certain whether there is only one true author of these two works. Homer is thought to have been an Ionian from the 9th or 8th century B.C. While historians argue over the man, his impact on literature, history, and philosophy is so significant as to be almost immeasurable. The Iliad relates the tale of the Trojan War, about the war between Greece and Troy, brought about by the kidnapping of the beautiful Greek princess, Helen, by Paris. It tells of the exploits of such legendary figures as Achilles, Ajax, and Odysseus. The Odyssey recounts the subsequent return of the Greek hero Odysseus after the defeat of the Trojans. On his return trip, Odysseus braves such terrors as the Cyclops, a one-eyed monster; the Sirens, beautiful temptresses; and Scylla and Charybdis, a deadly rock and whirlpool. Waiting for him at home is his wife who has remained faithful during his years in the war. Both the Iliad and the Odyssey have had numerous adaptations, including several film versions of each.

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