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Tales for All Time: The Role of Emotions in Modern Receptions of Homeric Epic

Possingham, Karen

Description

The poet we call Homer stands at the intersection of a long oral tradition and the emergence of literacy. The poems associated with his name have exercised a continuing appeal, across time; and yet they can also be unsettling, challenging our ideas of Ancient Greek values and expectations. This has had an impact on the reception of the poems from antiquity to the present day. I have argued in this thesis that, in the cases I have studied, Lorna Hardwick's idea of 'faultlines' in Homeric epic...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorPossingham, Karen
dc.date.accessioned2021-01-31T01:02:59Z
dc.date.available2021-01-31T01:02:59Z
dc.identifier.otherb71500832
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/220380
dc.description.abstractThe poet we call Homer stands at the intersection of a long oral tradition and the emergence of literacy. The poems associated with his name have exercised a continuing appeal, across time; and yet they can also be unsettling, challenging our ideas of Ancient Greek values and expectations. This has had an impact on the reception of the poems from antiquity to the present day. I have argued in this thesis that, in the cases I have studied, Lorna Hardwick's idea of 'faultlines' in Homeric epic can be adapted to examine the powerful, often contradictory, emotions portrayed in the Iliad and the Odyssey: namely personal and place attachment, grief, and the anger that can lead to acts of retribution or to acts of mercy that rely on the emotion of pity. These emotions are often inter-connected and may be present at the same time. In this thesis I examine selected works of literature by the Anglophone writers James Joyce, Margaret Atwood, David Malouf, Alice Oswald and Derek Walcott which offer us some 20th and 21st century responses to the problematic and often confronting emotions that we observe in the Homeric poems. I propose that the expression of what have been described since antiquity as strong or 'vehement' emotions act as hooks for these writers, encouraging them to explore emotional tensions in their own societies, using the characters and relationships found in the Homeric poems. In doing so they reveal the similarities and the differences in emotional expression between the ancient and modern worlds, demonstrating that the display rules of emotions are shaped by cultural conventions of their own time. I show how modern writers, in adapting and re-working the Homeric epics through the lens of emotion, reflect on their own present through the past and thereby re-interpret the poems to forge new sources of meaning and connection.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.titleTales for All Time: The Role of Emotions in Modern Receptions of Homeric Epic
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorMinchin, Elizabeth
local.contributor.supervisorcontactu8405449@anu.edu.au
dc.date.issued2021
local.contributor.affiliationCollege of Arts and Social Sciences, The Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.25911/83ZP-WT92
local.identifier.proquestYes
local.thesisANUonly.authorb3d5ee05-fb8d-4f18-af57-660dd399a928
local.thesisANUonly.title000000015731_TC_1
local.thesisANUonly.keya4c80b98-5364-93f6-3a49-234e28f17692
local.mintdoimint
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