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Odysseus as Storyteller

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Narrator and Speech Formulation in the Thrinacia Episode

image of Mnemosyne

The scene in which Helius requires that Zeus avenge the slaughter of his sacred cattle is a unique case among the divine dialogues in Homeric epic. Its distinctiveness can be attributed to the fact that the demanding tone of the request, and the direct reply it receives, depart significantly from the communicative mode found in the other speech exchanges between the gods, principally in the Odyssey, but also in the Iliad. I argue that this variation is intrinsically associated with the special narrative circumstances of the scene as reported by Odysseus, who as a human lacks the (precise) knowledge of divine discourse.

Affiliations: 1: Open University of Cyprus, Graduate Program in Greek Linguistics and Literature


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