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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows the whole arsenal of time-related narrative devices in which modern narratology has identified is to be found in Homer. The narrator recounts the main story by and large in chronological order and without retracing his steps, singulatively, and via an alternation of scenes and summaries. His analepses and prolepses are for the most part internal, inserted for the benefit of the narratees and as a means of tightening the structure of his story. His external analepses concern the background of characters and objects, and hence are heterodiegetic. There is a neat division of labour between narrator and characters. While the rhythm of epic narration is typically slow, external analepses concerning well-known ‘mythological’ events are told in an elliptic, allusive style, which will become the hallmark of later lyric narrative.

Keywords: analepses; Homer; Homeric epics; prolepses; rhythm; time-related narrative devices



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