The earliest known Greek writings are Mycenaeanwritten in the Linear B syllabary on clay tablets. These documents contain prosaic records largely concerned with trade lists, inventories, receipts, etc. Within poetry there were three super-genres:
Would you like to merge this question into it? MERGE already exists as an alternate of this question. Would you like to make it the primary and merge this question into it?
MERGE exists and is an alternate of. Merge this question into Split and merge into it SAVE In the Homeric epics we have a text created within a highly traditional diction, a special poetic language, for performance before a large public situated entirely within that tradition.
We do not have poetic language in our modern sense, that carefully honed personal and private idiom meant for the eye and to a lesser extent the ear of a small number of connoisseurs.
Therefore those who make up Homer's modern audience need to know if there is a certain ideal way to hear, or read, and respond to certain stylistic habits of his that our experience of modern literature has not prepared us to understand very well.
That is Question One, and the important one to answer if we are interested in experiencing Homeric poetry in its full complexity and idiomatic richness. Are the Iliad and Odyssey genuine oral compositions?
That is Question Two, which I believe it is not, and may never be, possible to answer with absolute certainty. For all the disagreement and verbal combat over this issue-from Parry's earliest critics in the's to the pages of the New York Review of Books from March 5 to June 25, the fact is that recovering the exact genesis or technique of Homer's composition will always be beyond us.
Therefore knowing exactly how he composed, just how much of his verse came from improvisation while performing and how much from prior memorization, and whether the newly available skill of writing was used to any degree, should be less important to us than appreciation of the distinctive and sometimes almost odd rhetoric found throughout his poetry, and of an underlying aesthetic that can make sense of both the distinctiveness and the oddness.
While it is still theoretically possible to doubt that Homer is an oral poet, 1 remains beyond doubt that he is "aural" in that he composes in a style guided by the ear and meant to be heard, a style that pleases through verbal play based on an aesthetic of repetition and variation, and of relaxed fullness of expression wherever the context allows it.
And yet while not discarding that emphasis on the style itself, I now believe it is fruitful to return to the issue of orality in connection with some salient but non-formulaic features of this style, seeking to understand all of them as counterpart phenomena to formulas per se, and some of them as most likely generated by composition in the act of performance as described by Albert Lord in The Singer of Tales It is significant and perhaps surprising that none of these features of an oral-derived style has to do with the employment of formulas as such.
For decades the definition and analysis of the formula dominated the argument over Homer's orality, but the presence or density of formulas in a text has proved ultimately to be an insufficient basis for arguments in favor of an oral Homer.
At this point in the history of Homeric scholarship, our understanding of Homer's technique may be best served by describing certain favorite devices or tropes and explaining their shared aesthetic.
Smith offers a classic example of a traditional epic text that is formulaic but not orally re composed in the act of performance.
For the difficulties in using formula density to prove orality, see HainsworthRusso For the balance between formulaic and nonformulaic language and Homer's freedom to use both, see the important study of Finkelberg Edwards sharpens our awareness of Homer's style by presenting a survey of characteristic devices of word primarily adjective position, enjambement, and sentence structure as these are related to colon structure.
His overall emphasis is on the many devices of linkage, and to the limited extent that his study is aesthetic as well as descriptive, he does well to emphasize "the peculiar smoothness in the progression of thought in Homeric verse"which is also my concern.
Occasionally his aesthetic judgement lapses into apology for a mere "filler" that "pads out the verse," a "meaningless grammatical link," and the like see, e. Yet these stylistic features embody perfectly the principle of "epic fullness," a term coined by Bassett In an earlier study of devices of linkage between successive speeches, Bassett illuminated a related aspect of the Homeric aesthetic, HOMER'S STYLE Common Tropes of Extension The bulk of my paper will be devoted to the description and explication of certain rhetorical tropes that give Homeric style its peculiar flavor, an archaic taste for redundancy and familiarity discreetly seasoned with variation and ornamentation.
When, following Parry's epoch-making insight, we sought the key to Homeric oral style in the use of formulas, our concern was to examine style in order to demonstrate the poet's technique for producing verses rapidly in the act of performance. In moving from an emphasis on the generation of language to an emphasis on the aesthetic presentation of language, I am not abandoning my belief that Homer's style is either oral or orally derived, but moving the focus of investigation to a related question.
Why is Homer's style is so uniquely pleasing, and how may the sources of its charm reside in a variety of rhetorical features distinct from formularity but related to it through a shared aesthetic?
It is interesting to note that scholarship on Homeric language and compositional technique has often called attention to features that are the opposite of charming and pleasing.
Homer's awkward moments and inconsistencies have more recently been regarded benignly as natural products of oral genesis Janko ; Willcock ; Gunnbased on Lord's prior demonstrations of composition by theme. I refer to such small-scale features as redundancy, confused syntax and bad grammar, anacoluthon, traditional phraseology awkwardly transferred to new contexts, verses out of place because of the performer's memory lapse or the copyist's oversight?
It is indeed a curious truth that the strongest evidence for Homer as an orally composing poet comes from the existence of these stylistic and narrative infelicities, which seem to suggest not that our text is inartistically composed or the product of layers of authorship, but rather that it is the transcription of a live performance Janko We shall return to a detailed consideration of some of these "negative" features.
We shall begin, however, with those more "positive" qualities named above, features of style that are both orally or aurally inspired and aesthetically pleasing and successful as narrative devices.
Consider three phenomena actively used in the construction of phrases and sentences, which I shall call appositional, explanatory, and metonymic extension. I suggest that the basic epic trope, what we might call the master trope of traditional epic phrase-making, can be conceived in its simplest essence as Item Plus.
I am referring to the wide-ranging impulse toward repetition and expansion that earlier scholarship has identified under a variety of names referring to different but often related phenomena: My own terminology attempts to identify a single aesthetic impulse that issues forth in three varieties of rhetorical expansion.
It is my contention that underlying the various stylistic tropes and the principles named variously by past scholarship as "affinity," "continuity," and "progression," there is one major unifying impulse that shows itself in variety of ways.In this lesson we explore one of the minor goddesses of ancient Greek mythology, Circe.
The goddess of magic and transformation, Circe plays her most pivotal role in Greek literature in Homer's. A B; God of the sea; Poseidon: Poseidon: he is the first to enter Circe's hall: Polites: blind minstrel who wrote the Odyssey: Homer: an elaborate comparison that goes on for lines; uses like or as.
Unlike Iliad, Odyssey is written in more of a conversational story-telling style. It is a tale of exile, longing, temptation, patience, and cunning. It is also a timeless tale of everyman's journey to 'home', be it a spiritual goal or a given place. The Catalogue of Ships (Ancient Greek: νεῶν κατάλογος, neōn katálogos) is an epic catalogue in Book 2 of Homer's Iliad (), which lists the contingents of the Achaean army that sailed to Troy.
The catalogue gives the names of the leaders of each contingent, lists the settlements in the kingdom represented by the contingent, sometimes with a descriptive . Framing the Odyssey Narrative. This short response will focus on the use and effects of narration in Chapter 15 ‘The Prince Set sail for Home’ of The Odyssey lines to Most Common Text: Click on the icon to return to timberdesignmag.com and to enjoy and benefit.
the of and to a in that is was he for it with as his on be at by i this had not are but from or have an they which one you were all her she there would their we him been has when who will no more if out so up said what its about than into them can only other time .