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The Words Of Gods: Divine Discourse In Homer’s Iliad

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Chapter Summary

In this paper, the author presents, from the social perspective of discourse analysis, an account of how the gods communicate with each other using the language that they share with mortals. The Iliad contains remnants of what is claimed to be a divine language which is not completely different from that of men. Discourse analysis, a relatively new discipline, studies the ways in which people use language to communicate. There are several sustained passages of divine discourse in the Iliad. Hera's plan to distract her husband from the battlefield, to allow Poseidon to intervene on behalf of the Achaians, will be realized through a series of verbal exchanges: with Aphrodite, with Sleep, and, finally, with Zeus. The author concludes by drawing a distinction between majesty and divinity. The majesty of the gods - their dignity and their authority - is conveyed through demonstration of the great powers that are detailed in the article.

Keywords: Aphrodite; discourse; divine; Gods; Hera; Homer; Iliad; Poseidon; Zeus



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