The "Odyssey": Structure, Narration and Meaning (Hardback)
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Short Description for The "Odyssey" This study uncovers an extended narrative that runs throughout the "Odyssey". Looking at such elements as characters' names, challenges faced by Odysseus, and roles assigned to the poem's women, it identifies a sequence of successive motifs repeated in full three times throughout the epic.
- Published: 14 May 1999
- Format: Hardback 200 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780801860584 ISBN 10: 080186058X
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Full description for The "Odyssey"
This study uncovers an extended narrative that runs throughout the whole of the "Odyssey". Looking at such elements as characters' names, challenges faced by Odysseus, and roles assigned to the poem's women, Bruce Louden identifies a large sequence of successive motifs repeated in full three times throughout the "Odyssey", which provides the underlying skeletal structure for nearly all of the poem's plot. Louden's structural analysis helps explain the existence in the poem of several characters or episodes sometimes dismissed as extraneous or as late additions to or corruptions of the work. Further, the extended narrative pattern suggests that the epic has been transmitted to us as a whole rather than, as some critics believe, reconstructed from several smaller poems. Its existence also helps strengthen the possibility that the "Odyssey" was the product of an oral tradition. Though centrally concerned with the form through which the poem presents its rich and complex plot, Louden's study is not exclusively, or even primarily, formalistic. Based upon this close reading of the epic's structure, he offers interpretations of the poem, exploring the role of divine hostility in the narrative and locating the "Odyssey" within a mythic subgenre in which a deity's anger at the impiety of humanity results in the survival of a single just man out of an entire community.