Character, Narrator, and Simile in the Iliad by Jonathan L. Ready

By Jonathan L. Ready

Jonathan L. prepared bargains the 1st finished exam of Homer's similes within the Iliad as arenas of heroic pageant. This research concentrates totally on similes spoken through Homeric characters. the 1st to supply a sustained exploration of such similes, prepared exhibits how characters are made to contest via and over simile not just with each other but in addition with the narrator. prepared investigates the narrator's similes besides. He demonstrates that Homer amplifies the feat of a winning warrior via offering a aggressive orientation to sequences of similes used to explain conflict. He additionally deals a brand new interpretation of Homer's prolonged similes as a method for the poet to visualize his characters as rivals for his consciousness. all through this examine, prepared makes leading edge use of techniques from either Homeric stories and narratology that experience no longer but been utilized to the research of Homer's similes.

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His success in battle was marked by the slaughter he wreaked. For its part, a lailaps is a powerful force of nature, not a brief downpour, but something to take cover from. The narrator compares the dust kicked up by the advance of the Aiantes and their men to a cloud that brings a whirlwind (lailapa) along with it and prompts a shepherd to retreat to a cave (Il. 277–79). A wind accompanied by a great whirlwind (lailapi) uproots a tree in an orchard: thus does Euphorbos die (Il. 53–60). On his return home, Odysseus repeatedly finds himself beset by these storms.

Characters in both epics also deploy likenesses, another distinguishing utterance like simile in the form “A (is) like B,” in the hopes of standing out in the linguistic field. 1. SIMILES, LINGUISTIC COMPETENCE, AND STATUS Richard Martin (1989) shows that Homeric characters are performers of verbal art who seek routinely to demonstrate their distinctive linguistic competence; that they perform before audiences whose members are capable of judging and responding to them in kind (that is, they perform in a competitive linguistic arena); and, finally, that through these displays, the characters aim to affirm or enhance their status.

Similes, Linguistic Competence, and Status 29 Similarly, among Melpa speakers in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea, the use in public meetings of what Strathern (1975) terms “veiled speech” aids a big man in revealing his linguistic ability and strengthening his position. Metaphors and the occasional simile are essential ingredients in this manner of talking: “we can identify the use of figurative speech as a means of focusing attention on the speaker and the point he wishes to make, of embellishing his presentation and showing his skill in speech-making and thus enhancing his general status” (1975: 193).

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