Epic Hero Essay

Epic Hero Essay-86
Earlier, I mentioned the linguistics of Saussure as the historical prototype of what we know today as structuralism.In its more recent history, however, the term has been detached from its moorings in linguistics.He showed courage and intelligence when he was in Polyphemus the Cyclops's cave. First Odysseus showed his intelligence by telling the Cyclops that his name was "Nobody." So when Odysseus stabs Polyphemus in the eye he couldn't tell anyone who did it, because "Nobody" did it.

Earlier, I mentioned the linguistics of Saussure as the historical prototype of what we know today as structuralism.

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The first of these three methods is the most elusive, though it happens to be the most general.

It involves comparisons of parallels between structures that are not necessarily related to each other.

It is nowadays associated mostly with the study of literature.

In its newer applications, structuralism has become an unstable and even unwieldy concept, which cannot any longer convey the essence of the methodology it once represented. It was this former student of Saussure who advised one of his own students, a young American in Paris named Milman Parry, to undertake a typological comparison of ancient Greek epic with modern South Slavic “heroic song,” as represented by the living oral traditions of the former Yugoslavia.

Odysseus, Epic Hero What makes Odysseus an epic hero?

Odysseus has been one of the most frequently portrayed figures in literature. He has defeated a Cyclops, traveled to "The Kingdom of the Dead", and defeated the suitors that were courting his wife.But what makes Odysseus an epic hero, and what heroic traits of an epic hero does Odysseus portray?A trait that makes Odysseus an epic hero is that he is very courageous and intelligence.In this on-line version, the page-numbers of the printed version are indicated within braces (“”). These constructs - let us call them simply “characters” for the moment - are in some ways radically dissimilar from each other. While recognizing these difficulties, this presentation explores the most representative examples of ancient poetic constructs generally known as “epic heroes,” focusing on Achilles and Odysseus in the Homeric of the Roman poet Virgil. These indications will be useful to readers who need to look up references made elsewhere to the printed version of this book.Even within a single tradition like Homeric poetry, heroes like Achilles and Odysseus seem worlds apart.But it cannot depend - or at least it cannot fully depend - on diachronic analysis, which cannot independently account for historical contingencies.§7.Having outlined the three kinds of comparative methodology to be applied, I now propose to fill in by surveying the actual comparanda.What is needed is an integration of comparative perspectives.In order to achieve the broadest possible formulation, I propose to integrate three comparative methods, which I describe as (1) typological, (2) genealogical, and (3) historical.§4.


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