For the other serial negative simile with a cumulative effect see 14.394 and Janko 1992. The second occurrence of this scene is a parallel event at 159–65, but the third at 230–38 is extended to include Pandarus’ frustration. The assertiveness of Idomeneus’ entrance will be heightened by his boast and then by the addition of a simile. At 780 and 781 the similes describe massive destruction as Zeus enters the simile world by hurling his thunderbolts at the earth, lashing the land. Similarly, the exposure of this ruse is the proper introduction for the major confrontation of the poem, for in being tricked, Achilles is shamed; he feels "robbed of great glory" and wishes that he could seek vengeance against the god (22.18f.). At the start there is the countryside scene of men stretching the bull’s hide, but then in each of the final three similes the Greek is identified with the dominant force: a vulture over geese, a man killing an ox, and a lion devouring a bull. Moulton 1977:27–33 provides an extended discussion of the signs of internal organization in the full series of seven similes in book 2: "The entire movement ... clearly exhibits a contraction of the frame, until the audience is finally brought to concentrate on the supreme leader of the expedition" (33). him around, choking him, until Aphrodite whisks Paris away from the
Homer gives Idomeneus two juxtaposed complementary similes: he is not a pampered child, but a boar confronting dogs and men (470 and 471);31 still, however, he calls to his friends asking for aid because he recognizes the Trojan’s prowess. Leiden. The opposing hero now is Aeneas. Going back, Book Three starts with: “the Trojans advanced as a flight of wild fowl or cranes that scream overhead when rain and winter drive them over the flowing waters of Ocean. In this second sense there is no advantage in conjuring up a written version of the utterance; such an imagined structure is inherently irrelevant to the understanding of the oral statement or the appreciation of its form. A Commentary on Homer’s Odyssey: Books I–VIII. The narrative, however, is not about Ajax but about the series of Greek successes that ensure the capture and protection of Patroclus’ body. Speeches have been studied in detail to determine the customary forms of direct communication. It is important to the design of book 12 that the battle be presented as even so that Hector can achieve a victory over stout resistance. Dimock, G. 1989. In Characterization and Individuality in Greek Literature, edited by C. Pelling. Though the similes, as usual, play only a supportive role, they are numerous, they are crafted effectively and economically, and they are so closely coordinated with the narrative design in each book that they point clearly toward the larger structures to which they respond. Definition. Fire vs. water may be a standard epic contrast. The audience of each passage will realize that there is a basic poetic unit of a certain length and tone that has a sufficiently fixed nature to withstand attempts to introduce variants. 319–65: Greeks threaten; Apollo rebukes Aeneas; Aeneas attacks; Ajax stops the Trojan advance. In this book the hero needs divine protection; but on his arrival on Ithaca he will be left largely dependent on his wits to reestablish himself.
In this book Diomedes has an inordinate interest in horses: 199–203, 221–38 (although earlier Aeneas was foot; see 166–70), 263–72, and 310–30. Amsterdam. Here Fraenkel 1921:106 objects to the lack of parallelism between simile and narrative, and Macleod 1982 on 24.78–82 and Edwards 1991 on 17. Sarpedon appropriately highlights this code in his classic statement to Glaucus at 310–28, and even though it strongly motivates human achievement throughout book 12, the narrative provides no critical perspective on the actions it promotes or on the human lives it puts at risk. In the first section Achilles rejects the feelings of his mother, the dysaristotokeia, the woman who bore the best of men to her own sorrow, and thinks only of his wounded honor (18.86–93). For discussion of this theme see Segal 1962:17–64 and Podlecki 1971. When Iris describes the Greek army, she says that they are as numerous as leaves and sand (800 vs. 468). These ekphrases occupy so large a portion of each work that they are necessarily major elements in the overall design.4, Homer often describes objects and implements in the course of his narrative, even pausing in the midst of events to present a detailed picture of some article drawn from the background. 69. ———. These same methods are used in designing the individual similes. Snodgrass, A. M. 1998. Patroklos: Gedanken über Homers Dichtung und Gestalten. The Homeric simile is easily recognized.
Hector’s increasing weakness is brought forcefully into focus by his repeated setbacks as well as the ominous words of Zeus on seeing Hector in Achilles’ armor, his promise to the horses that he will never let Hector capture them, his change of heart when he sends Athena to encourage the Greeks, and his lifting of the darkness over the battle scene in response to Ajax’s prayer. Even the short simile describing Athena as she flies up to the roof in the disguise of a swallow matches this tone (240). Rubin, D. C. 1995. Berkeley. All of the naturalness and generosity, the tragic greatness, and the futile excesses of Achilles and Patroclus are intertwined in the small vignette centered on the battle with Sarpedon; the three similes (vultures, tree cutters, and lion) accompanying this scene focus directly on the warriors and reveal through resonances from the tradition the wide spectrum of counterforces active in the narrative. The juxtaposition of their differing content and style is echoed by Homer’s conscious design of the similes to reinforce and supplement the narrative units. As a result, a responsible critic must not only be conscious of the poet’s goals in choosing to use a simile within a tight narrative structure—but must also consider his reasons for avoiding a more direct presentation. The similes vary widely in terms of length, form, structure, quantity of repeated phrasing, and the complexity of their relationship to the narrative context. Since Homer’s audience was sufficiently aware of the alternatives that the poet passed over as well as those that he chose, they could appreciate the values in the final version. Later when young Odysseus visits Autolycus’ palace, he receives gifts further identifying him as the heir of this wily and aggressive old man, and he is welcomed as a worthy member of the family at a great banquet. The decisions made by the poet in creating the similes are often familiar from his methods in designing the narrative. Page, D. L. 1959. In fact, he is only momentarily weakened and needs to withdraw.
2000. In addition, each simile in unit 2 is placed to mark progressive stages of the narrative. In order to understand the functioning of the similes in supporting the theme of ineffective leadership it is necessary to examine each simile closely as the product of the poet’s choice.
Leiden. At these points he depended upon his audience to decode his uncustomary use of similes. Of course, this is too diagrammatic a scheme to represent, In the practice of traditional storytelling the poet combines elements of plot and character in a productive balance, and as he develops his story, they become mutually reinforcing. Amsterdam. Ajax fights like a torrent driven by the rains of Zeus as he enters this carefully managed battle (489–97). The most important feature of the simileme is its flexibility; as similes are the product of human imagination, a wide variety of individual similes can be created by recombination, deletion, or addition of customary and familiar elements—and also, undoubtedly, at moments of creative innovation or discovery. See especially Schadewaldt 1943, chap. Upon seeing shirkers of the front line of battle he likens them to “frightened fawns who, when they can no longer scud over the plain huddle together. Second, there are comparable scenes where a hero is saved and brought back into the narrative.
A simile to vary the scenes would blur the effect of this repeated motif with no gain to the direction of the narrative.77. While it is impossible to know the poet’s mind sufficiently to construct a full list of such passages, eight such occasions can be identified in book 2. Wyatt, W. F., Jr. 2002. In other words, Homer can introduce gods as complementary motivators or even narrative aids that allow the story to develop easily once he has outlined the values basic to the plot. 10. In both of the extended lion similes the description presents the helplessness of the victims before the lion’s power. Classical Antiquity 8:283–95. In Behext von Bildern? 754 and 872 are within catalogues, thus providing too little content or context to contribute meaningfully to the book’s ongoing theme. Buxton, R. 2004. And Homer repeatedly used such subjects and phrases because they facilitated effective communication. Each confirms an element in Odysseus’ characterization that was present from an early age.
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