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How to show that it is an art after all? Quite a number of claimants to rhetoric are named and reviewed, and readers who have an interest in the history of Greek rhetoric rightly find these passages invaluable. Many rhetoricians have artfully and effectively misled their audiences, and Socrates argues—somewhat implausibly perhaps—that in order to mislead one cannot oneself be misled.

It will not only be coherent, but structured in a way that mirrors the way the subject itself is naturally organized. This will not be truly accomplished if it only looks that way; to be that way, a discourse's unity should reflect the unity of its subject. At this point we might want to ask about the audience ; after all, the rhetorician is trying to persuade someone of something. Might not the speaker know the truth of the matter, and know how to embody it artfully in a composition, but fail to persuade anyone of it?

Would not a failure to persuade indicate that the speaker lacks the complete art of rhetoric? Just as an expert physician must understand both the human body and the body of medical knowledge—these being inseparable—so too the expert speaker must understand both the human soul and what is known about the soul.

The reader will immediately recall that the great speech the palinode in the first half of the Phaedrus was about the soul in its cosmic context—the soul's nature, its journeys divine and human, its longings, the objects of its longings, its failures and their consequences, were all part of the same story. The consequence of this approach to rhetoric has now become clear: to possess that art, one must be a philosopher.

True rhetoric is philosophical discourse. But what happened to the question about the audience? This last demand is a matter of practice and of the ability to size up the audience on the spot, as it were. The reader will find them summarized at b5-c6.

If the audience is philosophical, or includes philosophers, how would the true, artful, philosophical dialectician address it? This question is not faced head-on in the Phaedrus , but we are given a number of clues. According to reflections inaugurated by the Theuth and Thamus myth, the written word is not the most suitable vehicle for communicating truth, because it cannot answer questions put to it; it simply repeats itself when queried; it tends to substitute the authority of the author for the reader's open minded inquiry into the truth; and it circulates everywhere indiscriminately, falling into the hands of people who cannot understand it.

Dialectical speech is accompanied by knowledge, can defend itself when questioned, and is productive of knowledge in its audience e4—a4. Of course, all this raises the question as to the status of Plato's dialogues, since they are themselves writings; we will return to it briefly below. Popular rhetoric is not an art, but a knack for persuasion.

Artful rhetoric requires philosophy; but does philosophy require rhetoric? The Phaedrus points to the interesting thought that all discourse is rhetorical, even when the speaker is simply trying to communicate the truth—indeed, true rhetoric is the art of communicating the truth notice the broad sweep of the discussion of discourse at e5—b4. Rhetoric is present wherever and whenever people speak de4 and context.

Even when one is not sure what the truth is, and even when one is thinking through something by oneself—carrying on an inner dialogue, as it were—discourse and persuasion are present. The bottom line is that there is no escaping from persuasion, and so none from rhetoric—including of course from the very problem of distinguishing between warranted and unwarranted persuasion. Self-deception is an ever-present possibility as Socrates implies here, and notes at Cratylus d. That is a problem about which the philosopher above all worries about.

The Gorgias' notion that the struggle between popular rhetoric and philosophy—or as we might say, unphilosophical and philosophical rhetoric—is one between comprehensive outlooks is clear from the Phaedrus as well. The speech is quite explicitly a retraction of an outlook that does not espouse these views; ordinary rhetoric moves in a very different moral, metaphysical, psychological, and epistemic world.

It is an interesting fact that Plato deploys certain elements of poetry such as myth, allegory, simile, image in drawing the contrast between these outlooks. That poetry is itself a kind of persuasive discourse or rhetoric has already been mentioned. This echoes the Ion 's charge that the rhapsodes do not know what they are talking about. But what about the rationale that the poets and rhapsodes are inspired? Inspiration comes up numerous times in the Phaedrus. It and the related notions of Bacchic frenzy, madness, and possession are invoked repeatedly almost from the start of the dialogue b , in connection with Phaedrus' allegedly inspiring recitation of Lysias' text d1—6 , and as inspiring Socrates's two speeches a7—b1, d2—6, d1—3.

These references are uniformly playful, even at times joking. More serious is the distinction between ordinary madness and divine madness, and the defense of the superiority of divine madness, which Socrates' second speech sets out to defend. The case is first made by noting that three species of madness are already accepted: that of the prophets, that of certain purifying or cathartic religious rites, and the third that inspiration granted by the Muses that moves its possessor to poetry ba. As noted, it begins to look as though a certain kind of poetry the inspired is being rehabilitated.

And yet when Socrates comes to classify kinds of lives a bit further on, the poets along with those who have anything to do with mimesis rank a low sixth out of nine, after the likes of household managers, financiers, doctors, and prophets e1—2! The poet is just ahead of the manual laborer, sophist, and tyrant. The philosopher comes in first, as the criterion for the ranking concerns the level of knowledge of truth about the Ideas or Forms of which the soul in question is capable. This hierarchy of lives could scarcely be said to rehabilitate the poet.

The Phaedrus quietly sustains the critique of poetry, as well as much less quietly of rhetoric. Plato's critique of writing on the grounds that it is a poor form of rhetoric is itself written. Does the critique apply to the dialogues themselves? Scholars dispute the answers to these well-known questions. There is general agreement that Plato perfected—perhaps even invented—a new form of discourse.

The Platonic dialogue is a innovative type of rhetoric, and it is hard to believe that it does not at all reflect—whether successfully or not is another matter—Plato's response to the criticisms of writing which he puts into the mouth of his Socrates. Plato's remarkable philosophical rhetoric incorporates elements of poetry. Most obviously, his dialogues are dramas with several formal features in common with much tragedy and comedy for example, the use of authorial irony, the importance of plot, setting, the role of individual character and the interplay between dramatis personae.

His works also narrate a number of myths, and sparkle with imagery, simile, allegory, and snatches of meter and rhyme. Indeed, as he sets out the city in speech in the Republic , Socrates calls himself a myth teller d9—10, e4—5. In a number of ways, the dialogues may be said to be works of fiction; none of them took place exactly as presented by Plato, several could not have taken place, some contain characters who never existed.

These are imaginary conversations, imitations of certain kinds of philosophical conversations. The reader is undoubtedly invited to see him or herself reflected in various characters, and to that extent identify with them, even while also focusing on the arguments, exchanges, and speeches. Exactly what to make of his appropriation of elements of poetry is once again a matter of long discussion and controversy. Suffice it to say that Plato's last word on the critique of poetry and rhetoric is not spoken in his dialogues, but is embodied in the dialogue form of writing he brought to perfection.

Plato: aesthetics Plato: ethics. I would also like to thank David Roochnik for his help with various revisions along the way. Introduction 2. Ion 3. Gorgias 5. Phaedrus 5. Introduction A good poem helps to change the shape and significance of the universe, helps to extend everyone's knowledge of himself and the world around him —Dylan Thomas [ 1 ] When we think of a philosophical analysis of poetry, something like a treatise on aesthetics comes to mind. So Ion, and by extension Homer, are faced with a series of unpalatable alternatives: They could continue to defend the claim that they really do know the subjects about which they discourse—in the sense of possess the techne kai episteme of them, i.

Yet if they do defend that claim they will be liable to examination by relevant experts. They could admit that they do not know what they are talking about. This admission could be understood in several ways: b. Gorgias The Gorgias is one of Plato's most bitter dialogues in that the exchanges are at times full of anger, of uncompromising disagreement, plenty of misunderstanding, and cutting rhetoric.

Phaedrus Readers of the Phaedrus have often wondered how the dialogue hangs together. Plato's Dialogues as Rhetoric and Poetry Plato's critique of writing on the grounds that it is a poor form of rhetoric is itself written. Bibliography Adams, J. Annas, J. Rowe eds. Asmis, E. Kraut ed. Auerbach, E. Trask, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Ausland, H. Baracchi, C. Becker, A. Belfiore, E. Benardete, S. Benitez, E. Blondell, R. Bloom, A. Booth, W. Brogan, T. Preminger and T. Brogan eds. Brownstein, O. Burger, R. Burnet, J. Burnyeat, M.

Calvert, B. Calvo, T. Rossetti ed. Capra, A. Clay, D. Cole, T. Cooper, J. Cleary ed. Hutchinson eds. Corbett, E. Corrigan, K. Curran, J. Duffy, B. Dyson, M. Eades, T. Elias, J. Else, G. Erickson, K. Farness, J. Fendt, G. Ferber, R. Sankt Augustin: Academia. Beck Verlag. Ferrari, G. Kennedy ed. Freyberg, B. Fritz, J. Fussi, A. Gadamer, H. Smith trans. Gifford, M. Gill, C. McCabe eds. Gordon, J. Gottfried, B. Press ed.

Gould, T. Greene, W. Griswold, C. Article review of: R. Corrigan and E. Hackforth, R. Halliwell, S. Rutter and B. Sparkes eds. Havelock, E. Howland, J. Review article. Hyland, D. Hwang, P. Irwin, T. Jannaway, C. Kahn, C. Kastely, J. Kauffman, C. Kerferd, G. Kerch, T. Klagge, J.


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Smith eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Klemm, D. Klosko, G. Kobusch, T. Mojsisch eds. Koritansky, J. Kraut, R. Kuhn, H. Lane, M. Lear, J. Lewis, T. Maranhao, T. Marback, R. McComiskey, B. McCoy, M. Michelini, A. Miller, M. Falkner, N. Felson, and D. Therefore, the interpretation had to be assigned to someone else and in this case only the eagle was available. Accordingly, an occurrence which is unique in Homer, must not be cashiered for that reason. The passage about Theoklymenos is unassailable. For a seer is endowed with divine knowledge and so, as the Iliad says, he is able to interpret ta??

Thus in Herodotus 7, and , where the Delphic oracle prophesies about the devastation of the Greek temples by the Persians, Apollo says : ol viz. Just as to the Delphic god the coming. Sometimes the poet of the Odyssey is successful in introducing well-known persons. Thus the books? This has been caused by the fact that the characters in question are not copied straight from the Illiad, but are represented in an independent and way. Thus Nestor does not display the characteristics, for which he is notorious in the Iliad 68, while Menelaos does not remind us either of the warrior who appears in the older poem.

The poet, while taking over these heroes from the Iliad, created new characters and so he displayed his great ability in the of human characters Likewise in? For he succeeds in and stressing the features for which Achilles is notorious in the Iliad. In that poem his outstanding qualities are his lack of self-restraint, his independence of judgement and his in some values which are highly appreciated by other men. The same attitude appears in the hero's famous utterance about the kingship of the dead?

On other occasions the poet was not successful in this respect Thus in book? Accordingly, the passage is monotonous. At the end of? The last book of the Iliad makes a lasting impression, because Priam and his are familiar to us and since the Trojans are depicted in the main as worthy opponents of the Greeks. At least they do not fall short of the heroic standards, whereas the relatives of the suitors are unknown to us and do not attain either to the heroic stature that characterises the Trojan princes.

I also refer to Athene's intervention and the throwing of lightnings by Zeus? We are again confronted with a degeneration of the heroic epic. This tendency of elevating the poem to the level of the heroic epic reflects a definite mental attitude to which these poets are accustomed. The archaic poet, even if he describes a simple occurrence, considers it to be necessary to make use of the of the epic and to make the event as heroic as possible.

This is of special interest in connection with book K. This book stands midway between the remaining part of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Just as the Odyssey,? At least these events cannot be compared to the combats which occur on the battle-field of the Iliad. The very beginning of the book confronts us with an problem.

The kings are awakened and convoked so as to take counsel about the critical situation 72 and to inspect the watch-posts. However, the item of the counsel is soon dropped, whereas the expedition of the two heroes constitutes the principal theme of the book. Accordingly, critics have been surprised and have considered it to be one of the proofs of the unauthenticity of? However, it is unnecessary to assign this book to a later. It is true that the expedition of the two heroes forms the main theme of the book.

A non-epic poet would have represented matters as follows. Either the two heroes would have been by Agamemnon or they would have gone to him on their own account and have been dispatched on a nocturnal This representation of things is too simple for the epic poet. The whole epic machinery is, therefore, made available so as to heighten the significance of the expedition and to make it a heroic event.

For this reason all the kings are convoked and it is only in a solemn council that the project of the expedition is adopted. Since the expedition itself is not sufficiently to justify the awakening of the kings, a conference about the grave situation is put forward as a motive. The poet drops it, as soon as he has reached his purpose the convoking of the assembly. This part may be compared to the beginning of book e, where the same device can be found. In it a second assembly of the gods takes place in which a decision is taken to dispatch Hermes in order to rescue Odysseus from the island of Calypso.

Since this passage in the main consists of formulary lines, it has been attributed to an interpolator by most critics I am of the that the passage must be assigned to the poet of the Odyssey. It is true that in the assembly of a a decision is already taken about the fate of Odysseus and his family.

However, in a-d the whole attention was directed to Telemachus' adventures. In e it is Odysseus' turn to receive attention. A non-epic or author would have said at the beginning of e, that delivery, which was settled in the assembly of a, was now going to be arranged. In the epic such a representation of things would fall short of the heroic standards, the more so since in e the principal hero will make his first appearance. The dignity of the heroic epic requires a second assembly to be staged by the poet. In it Hermes is appointed as a messenger to Calypso We can say : The poet offers the requisites of the heroic epic.

If his composition is less attractive this time that's his own business. It is mainly for two reasons, which are in fact grave ones, that objections have been raised against the authenticity of Book K. I may as yet offer the following arguments, a We must bear in mind that we are confronted with epic poetry. Epic poetry, however, is primarily interested in facts and stories. The audience of the poet must have had a mentality similar to. We are at once ready to brand these passages as interpolations.

We should not forget that it is perhaps the author himself who is sometimes to be He may have made a false move and may have offered passages which he might better have omitted. Let us have a look at modern authors, because in them the text is above suspicion and the passages appear to be authentic. I refer to Gorneille's Cid and Schiller's Wallenstein. In these plays the passages concerning the love of the Infante for Rodrigue and the love between Max and Thekla are considered to be superfluous.

At any rate they do not concern the main plot of the play and even unnecessarily divert our attention from it. This fact weighs the more heavily, because we are confronted this time with poetry, where the composition is of the greatest Unfortunately, textual evidence, which makes our task easy with the modern poets, is not available in the case of Homer.

However, a conscientious critic has to take heed of this point : It is possible that the reverse of interpolation occurs viz. But the period of night was available for any purposes which the poet might have. Because of the whole composition of the Iliad, the nocturnal expedition could not have any telling results, but the story might cheer up the audience and show them that in reality the Greek warriors were greatly superior to the Trojans.

We must take account of the following factors. However, the situation of the Greek army is alarming ; the morale is at a low ebb. For this reason the poet wants to accentuate the contrasts so as to show that after all the situation of the Greek army appears to be less critical the watch-posts are well guarded, etc. We must not forget that an representation of the Trojans also occurs in other parts of the Iliad In K, because of the critical situation of the Greek army, the contrast between the Greeks and the Trojans is intensified, the Trojans are represented by a worthless person.

In the remaining part of the Iliad the situation itself is different, for on the battle-field heroic standards prevail and for this also the opponents of the Greeks are represented in a heroic way. However, the subject of K, an expedition of spies, is in a sense non-heroic. Moreover, the character of Dolon is not isolated in the Iliad. I refer to Thersites, 5 ff.

Just as in Dolon's case the contrast between Thersites and the Greek commanders is a very incisive one. However, a special situation is de On the other occasions where Nestor is confronted memnon, he is always speaking in an assembly. The younger commanders like Dio- medes sometimes sharply inveigh against the king ; Nestor preserves a cautious and civil attitude and addresses with respect This time, however, no other witnesses are present and therefore he is less restrained.

We see that at a moment when he is free to utter his innermost thoughts, is just as mistrustful as the characters of the Odyssey. The same observations hold good for the description of in K. Though the Iliad often describes Agamemnon's defeatism, the poet does not lose sight of the heroic element. On solemn occasions, when the other Greek commanders are present, he will always represent the king in such a way that decorum is preserved. In K, however, Agamemnon is alone and so the poet can permit himself to the real situation and make use of strong expressions which mark the anguish of Agamemnon and his brother.

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For the poet is describing a man of the common people. The expressions which are again strong and realistic are acceptable to us, because Achilles has lost his So we can state that even in the passages of the Iliad which are above suspicion, the poet has at his command a number of realistic expressions So the occurrence of these expressions cannot be used as a proof of the inauthenticity of K. I may yet mention another point.

This is understandable, because this poet is fond of using strong and exaggerated expressions.


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  6. We can conceive an idea of the attainments and the qualities of these poets, if we have another look at the Scutum. It is obvious that the author of Scut. Now I am ready to admit that, by the side of inferior poets like the author of the Scutum, gifted poets. Therefore I can scarcely believe that the author of K, a poem which is so interesting, should only have composed one epic poem viz.

    If we hold that the book was composed by the poet of the Iliad, we may yet offer these arguments in its defence. But it is well-known that one and the same author may make use of different styles, when he treats different subjects He only seldom made use of them, because he had to take account of the heroic stature of the war-epic. In K, where the subject is, so to speak, non-heroic, he had an opportunity of employing these qualities. Accordingly, the theme differed from the usual subject of the Iliad and because it was in a way non-heroic, the smaller details of daily life were mentioned For this epic does not treat a specifically heroic subject either see also above.

    In the Odyssey, too, attention is often paid to the smaller details of life 89, while also many realistic details occur in it In the preceding pages I tried to show that the difference of. Now another point may be discussed : the way in which the events and characters are represented.

    This point concerns the art of the poet s. The artistic factor is mostly neglected by modern Homer critics, because the critic who offers a judgement in artistic matters, may run the risk of being subjective. In fact, if scholars succeed in adducing archaeological, linguistic or other arguments which infallibly prove the Odyssey to be of more recent date or to have been composed in a region which is from that of the Iliad, the artistic arguments are of no avail. However, after many years of scholarly research these arguments have not been produced as yet and when they were presented, they appeared to be fallacious.

    Therefore, the artistic factor cannot be left out of the discussion. At present most critics are agreed about the fact that the dates of composition of the Iliad and the Odyssey are not far removed from one another. However, these critics consider it to be quite imaginable that in the course of about fifty years two different poets of genius the authors of the Iliad and the Odyssey may have lived. This idea is completely reasonable, if only we admit one restriction. In fact, the instances of Sophocles and Euripides, Racine and Corneille show that two gifted poets may live in the same period and may, moreover, just as the poet s of the Iliad and the Odyssey exert their talents in the same domain.

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    We can even go further. The relation between the works of these tragedians seems to be even closer than that between the two Homeric poems. For the Iliad and the Odyssey treat of different subjects see above , whereas the above-mentioned tragedians often deal with the same themes and take their plots from the adventures of the same heroic families. Nevertheless, the reader who is familiar with their works, can easily see that the character of their works is different. Thus if we take Sophocles and we cannot remain unaware of the fact that the mental outlook, the way of composition and the talents of these poets show marked differences A similar clear-cut difference exists.

    If, on the other hand, we consider the poets of the Iliad and the Odyssey, we can state that their prominent talents are identical. Both poets possess the gift of portraying and depicting events in such a way, as if they had been taken straight from life. Both poets represent man and his actions in a way which completely agrees with the actual situation in which human beings converse and with the motives that prompt them. In this respect we may that the Iliad as well as the Odyssey treat of themes that are mostcommon in human life viz.

    Such themes do not easily awaken the interest. Thus Sophocles attracts the because his themes are less common— the suicide of a hero Ajax ; the manly attitude of a woman Antigone. I may try to illustrate my views on the artistic powers of the poet of the Odyssey by discussing first of all a passage where a minor incident occurs.

    We may expect that the poet does not devote special attention to this relatively unimportant part and will not exert his powers to the utmost. We can understand that the poet likes to insert this incident, for in this way he succeeds in showing that the young man is no unworthy son of his heroic father. But I think. Telemachus begins by apologizing, because he is laughing At first sight the reader may be surprised at his conduct, but if one considers the whole situation the reason of his mirth is apparent But after having got sight of the bow, he at once sees through the and since he is a young man, he cannot refrain from at the way in which the suitors are inadvertently preparing their own ruin.

    At the same moment he feels that his mirth may seem to be indecent, for his mother is going to leave the house. This feeling urges him the more, because his relation to his is a cold one see above and so the bystanders will be ready to interpret his behaviour in an unsympathetic manner. The poet has pictured the situation in a way which is so true to life that with a variant on the words of Aristophanes Byz. What author would in fact have so clearly realised the situation which he is describing as to hit upon the idea that a young man like Telemachus would be apt to laugh in circumstances like this.

    Also the other details are appropriate and true to life. I refer to Telemachus' youthful rashness which prompts him to his act and makes him nearly spoil his father's designs cp. For if he had strung the bow, the disguised Odysseus would not have been able to take possession of it.

    If she had been really going to leave the house, his words would have been objectionable. But since the contest is a fake, his boastful utterance is acceptable. So we may make this statement. It is the poet's aim to show that Telemachus is endowed with heroic qualities and is a worthy member of the class to which his father belongs.

    To this end the poet has him. However, the way in which this incident is represented, is so effortless and natural that it reveals in a telling way the mastership of the poet in the of events and characters After Odysseus has been bathed by Eurykleia, Penelope first relates an important dream foretelling Odysseus' return, she mentions her decision of contracting a second Since her attitude seems to be contradictory, modern critics have severely criticised the passage It is evident that the poet had to bring into harmony two conflicting motives : Penelope's faithfulness to her husband which must not be called into doubt and the fact that she is going to contract a second marriage, which point is necessary for the development of the plot.

    For it leads up to the contest of the bow In sagas of other nations the problem of the husband's return and of his wife is sometimes solved by the expedient of making the wife a person who has no brains, because she is a woman. So she is tempted to contract a second marriage ". But this excuse cannot be applied to pe?? However, the composition which is presented by the poet, is more artful than that with which critics like to saddle him. For the attraction of book t consists in the fact that again and again we are expecting Odysseus to be recognised, whereas he always succeeds in preserving his incognito.

    In this way the tension is continuously heightened. After the bath Penelope has to break the news about a second marriage, because only in this way the contest of the bow can be arranged. The poet, however, deliberately begins with the mention of the dream, because this incident tends to show that notwithstanding her decision, Penelope remains closely attached to her husband.

    At the same time it offers a new omen of victory see above, p. Penelope misses its significance, whereas it is eagerly accepted by the beggar. They forget that this evidence only carries weight with those who, like the audience and the critics, know about the identity of Odysseus and the disguised beggar. On the other hand, family may be excused for despairing of the hero's after ten years of waiting and frequent disappointments see above p. It is true that the beggar's accurate about her husband has greatly impressed the queen t , but she is only ready to give him credit about things which she can check up r It is evident that as soon as the beggar speaks about the unknown future the interpretation of the dream, t , his authority must needs diminish.

    It is quite natural that the omen of the dream moves Penelope, but it cannot break the spell which was cast upon her by Odysseus' absence Thus the poet has planned the composition of the plot in a very artful way. The main point, the contest of the bow, has been arranged. But the poet manages to inform us about Penelope's decision of a second marriage in such a way that the reader's doubts have been allayed.

    We also see that Penelope and Odysseus are portrayed so truthfully that their reactions, though different, appear to be in complete agreement with their real situation and with the information which each of them has at his disposal. A right appraisal of the artistic qualities of the poet of the Odyssey may be of special aid for the explanation of the speech of Athene- Men tes a , one of the most crucial passages of the Odys-.

    Most modern critics from Kirchhoff onwards beheve this passage to have been contaminated by interpolations In fact the speech is objectionable to a modern reader, because it of three parts which are mutually contradictory. If Penelope is willing to contract a new marriage, she must return to her parents a If it appears that Odysseus is dead, he must pay tribute to his ashes and give his mother in marriage a I consider it to be inadvisable to apply the theory of here.

    An interpolator will mostly try to make the context easier and to smoothe over difficulties. Thus the lines concerning Penelope could easily have been omitted and so one of the greatest difficulties would have been removed. If, on the other hand, we ascribe these lines to an interpolator, we must consider this bard to have been a man deprived of sense. For by this interpolation three contrasting proposals that are to be carried out successively, are given. It is for this very reason that I believe the passage faithfully renders the original speech such as it was composed by the poet of the Odyssey With regard to the speech the following statements can be made.

    This enables us to that all the important items which concern Telemachus and the house of Odysseus, are treated in it. With this the trend of Mentes' speech is in agreement, for he twice reckons with the possibility of Penelope contracting a second marriage The speech in question reflects these very artistic powers.

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    I refer to the of the ship. In fact, a less great artist would have made the two books agree on this point. But the poet of the Odyssey depicts things true to life. Of course starts from the supposition that the distinguished family of Odysseus has a ship available, just as a modern visitor may that a person who belongs to the intelligentsia possesses a motor-car.

    This detail reveals the same qualities that appeared in f ff. The same statement can be made with regard to the mention of Penelope's second marriage a We may offer this explanation. Athene's speech in a. Since in the Homeric epics divine and human action are closely , we can understand that the activities of an unexperienced young man like Telemachus can only be imagined as being due to divine intervention.


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    Accordingly, Athene must give the of convoking the assembly. However, she appears undei the guise of Mentes, an old friend of the family. Mentes, however, must take account of the actual situation. Now he can easily that a convocation of the assembly and an arrangement with the suitors can only have a chance of success, if the question about a marriage of Penelope is settled. So we can again state that Mentes is portrayed true to life, when he raises this point. For Athene's speech, as we observed, is programmatic and so the main theme of the Odyssey the revenge cannot be missing from it.

    For this reason the important theme is taken account of at the very of the poem So the whole speech of Athene must be attributed to the poet of the Odyssey, a conclusion which entails difficulties, because, as we observed, the three parts of the speech contain elements that are contradictory. A modern poet or even an author from the fifth century B.

    Moreover, contradictions of this kind do not occur in the speeches of the Iliad. However, it is well-known that the plot of the Odyssey is more complex than that of the Iliad We do not know what amount of freedom archaic man permitted himself in speeches The speeches in Herodotus do not contain such contradictions. Since, however, they are more primitive, compared with the speeches in Thucydides, it is reasonable to suppose that the speeches in Homer may be more primitive than those of Herodotus.

    One might say that in a the separate parts of the speech have grown too independent and have thus endangered its unity In view of the instances which I discussed just now, I consider it to be evident that the selfsame artistic qualities which are met with in the Iliad, are also to be found in the Odyssey. I may add another observation. In the preceding pages I observed that the characters of the Odyssey often display a brutal egoism or reveal a practical frame of mind, whereas the Iliad portrays its in a heroic manner.

    However, the Iliad, too, contains these parts, as soon as the situation permits or urges the poet to express himself in this manner. I am thinking of G , the between Aphrodite-Paris-Helen. However, when Helen rejects her proposals, the goddess shows her true nature. For she menaces Helen in the fiercest terms and, just as the characters of the Odyssey, makes as brutal a use of her power as is possible. In the scene which follows G Helen, too, exploits the situation in the same way and ridicules Paris in a pitiless manner.

    The harshness of the wife is not the less apparent, because at heart we must own that she is right.

    The Sonnets to Orpheus

    Again we may compare the egotistic demeanour of in the Odyssey. Moreover, just as in the Odyssey, the details of the scene are true to life. The three characters are in such a way, as if the events happened in real life. As for the practical mentality I refer to M Sarpedon delivers a speech which manifests a heroic frame of mind. For he says that the kings who enjoy many privileges, must also be.

    M Thereupon he adds that he would not have given this advice, if he and his comrade were immortal M It is only because necessity urges them that they must be ready to run the risks of war! As for the Odyssey we may mention one more characteristic. In a Eurykleia, a subordinate person, is introduced at great length see above, p. In book A of the Iliad Patroklos, one of the most important characters of the poem, is not introduced at all A Since the Iliad mentions and describes a great number of heroes, the poet does not introduce Patroklos at great length, when he appears for the first time.

    For in A he does not play so prominent a part as is allotted there to Nestor for instance. So the poet wisely does not divert the attention by introducing him extensively. The Odyssey, on the other hand, suffers in a way from a shortage of important characters. Accordingly, the hero Odysseus receives an importance wich outweighs that of the other characters.

    The significance of Achilles, the principal hero of the Iliad cannot compare with it. For Achilles has to share his prominent position with other heroes e. Dio- medes in E , whereas Odysseus even when he is not present, appears in the background and forms one of the main themes. Consequently, the Odyssey is characterised by a kind of loneliness. In the Iliad we are continually confronted with a multitude of events and persons ; the heavens and the earth are brought into action. In the Odyssey even the gods mostly remain silent and, unlike in the Iliad, they are not distracted by mutual strife and quarrels m.

    However, we must not lose sight of the following factor. Though the Odyssey is non-heroic and the suitors in a sense remain anonymous, this did not prevent the poet from displaying his talents of portraying individual persons. Thus from the mass of the suitors Antinoos and Eurymachos may be singled out. These two suitors are even clearly distinguished from one another and each possesses a marked individuality.

    They are both as uncongenial persons, but Antinoos is depicted as a brute and this characteristic is upheld throughout. He even declines to offer an alms to the disguised Odysseus? Eurymachos, on the other hand, is always polite and never degrades himself to the manners of his comrade. He only ridicules Odysseus, when his anger has been aroused because of his mistress a These characteristics appear already at the beginning of the Odyssey.

    For in a Antinoos accuses Telemachos in an aggressive manner, whereas Eurymachos politely enquires after the unknown guest a Again the two suitors have been depicted by the poet in a way which is true to life. B The second factor see above, p. Page see above, n.

    Though this theory was combated by Prof. Page's views were taken up again by Dr Kirk. The following objections may be raised against this theory. He also underestimates the means of intercommunication between the Greeks in the eighth and seventh centuries. It is easy to see that Hesiod, who is not much later than the Iliad and the Odyssey, is. Therefore, it would be strange, if the poet of the Odyssey were in total darkness about the Iliad. If Prof. Page is right, these lines derive from older poetry, from which they must have been taken over independently by the poets of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

    Though this is possible, nobody can deny that this theory makes a heavy demand on any future of the Homeric poems. Thus in a Telemachus addresses his mother, while employing Hector's famous words Z : a?? Not only does the poet mechanically take over lines that are anyway suitable, but he aims at a definite purpose. He portrays Telemachus after the famous heroes of the Iliad in order to give him authority and to heighten the reputation of the young man by means of this Again we see a tendency of elevating the Odyssey to the level of heroic poetry. In the frame of Prof.

    Page's theory the interpretation which is obvious, cannot be applied. On the some of the most imposing passages of the Iliad, such as? Page's if the most important factor viz. The formulae and words listed by P. I may begin by discussing a few formulae indicating and the coming of evening. If one only pays attention to the isolated fact, the point is imposing, the more so since the two passages of the Iliad can be easily attributed to later bards, in which respect the analytical critics are very In reality, however, the action of the Odyssey is distributed over many days.

    Moreover, the poet of the Odyssey has often to represent three different spheres of activities that take place at the same time : Odysseus' household, Telemachus on his sea- voyage and Odysseus on his wanderings. So he was greatly in need of a co-ordinating formula indicating day-break. In the Iliad, where the main action develops in the course of a few days, the formula was less indispensable.

    Besides, we must take account of yet another factor. Thus a solemn formula of two lines is used and this was done on purpose. For the day which begins in A is one of the most important days of the poem, because in it the critical battle between the Greeks and Trojans takes place.

    By means of the solemn formula the poet marks the event. We can state that in T 1 only the first line of the formula is to be found. This is due to the fact that the battle which will take place on that day, is less important and is narrated in one book only. In this respect we must pay attention to the following factor.

    The poet s of the Iliad and the Odyssey like repeating formulae that are familiar to them. However, they have a fine feeling for the ethos of a passage and make a sharp distinction between passages. We observed see p. However, it is not without reason that in e the poet precisely takes over A 1 f.

    Among all the formulae that occur in both poems, this formula is the most solemn one Therefore, the formula is deliberately taken over in e 1 f. For in this book the adventures of Telemacjius will begin ; the young man will be introduced to the company of the Iliad. Soin y and in elf. When considering these facts, we must not forget that modern man has a different standard of values from Homer's To us day-break, even if it announces a day that will witness important events, is only a concomitant circumstance.

    Archaic man, however, attaches special importance to these facts This makes us also understand why different formulae are found in the Iliad and in the Odyssey respectively. The Iliad has an outspoken heroic character and, therefore, solemn often indicate day-break. Thus Page, I. Here it announces the beginning of an important day which will go as far as book X and which will witness Hector's death. For this reason a solemn formula is used. The Odyssey is non-heroic. Therefore, if we except elf. The sea-voyage to Chryse is a minor incident and may be called the most unimportant episode of book A.

    If therefore in A the poet had employed one of the solemn formulae which he had at his disposal for the description of day-break, he might have made himself ridiculous. Accordingly, he employs the simple co-ordinating formula which we often find in the Odyssey. However, one cannot fail to see that with Hector the main stress is not laid on his burial but on the recovering of his corpse. So he employs the simple formula announcing day-break. Since the poet of the Odyssey often tries to elevate his poem to the heroic level, it might be thought that he would have liked to employ solemn formulae which were, so to speak, ready at hand.

    In this connection, we must not forget that this poet had a correct stylistic feeling and knew quite well whether certain devices were appropriate or not. So he deliberately avoids using the solemn formulae which have been out of place and would have given to his poem a bombastic ring. The same observations hold good for the formulae announcing the setting of the sun and the coming of evening.

    Both lines contain concise, co-ordinating formulae and so we can that they frequently occur in the Odyssey. The last formula occurs only once in the Iliad, where it is likewise found in the sea- voyage to Chryse A In this case the idea that the formula might take its origin with the poet of the Odyssey, is contradicted in a yet more convincing way. For other passages of the Iliad formulae which are closely related to the above-named formula and which are based on the same pattern m.

    When studying the formulae that occur in the Iliad, we may observe that to archaic man the beginning of the day is more important than its end , whereas to modern man both events are of equal importance. To archaic man day-break is more important, because it means the beginning of life and work. Nevertheless, we can state that the Iliad again employs solemn formulae in its descriptions of evening.

    I observe that in this formula the sun is by a special epithet, whereas in the two formulae of the Odyssey mentioned just now, no epithet of the sun occurs. It might be thought that in the description of the combat with the suitors the poet had an opportunity of employing these formulae. For the poet of the Odyssey makes extensive use of traditional formulae. It is interesting to see that in the Iliad both occurrences death and night are characterised in a similar way, whereas in the Odyssey neither of them is described in a formula epithets. It is absurd to think that the Odyssey was composed in a region where the poets had no inkling of the fact that epitheta ornantia are useful expedients for the epic poet.

    We have already observed time and again that the Iliad is the heroic poem par excellence. We also know that especially when warriors are killed, their origin, etc. The death of a warrior is therefore described in a solemn way which serves to stress the heroic character of the event. In the Odyssey these particulars would have been out of place, for the brave warriors who fall on the battle-field, can in no way be compared with the wanton suitors who are put to death in Odysseus' palace. Thus gangsters who are killed in a fight with the police, are not honoured by a stately monument which is reserved for soldiers.

    Both which occur 4 and 5 times respectively, are nearly always used of gods Now we observed already that in the Odyssey the gods are more remote, whereas in the Iliad the society of the gods is circumstantially. Nor can it be denied that in the Iliad. Zeus plays a more prominent part than in the Odyssey.

    We know that to the ancients the eyes were of special importance, as we can learn for instance from the vase-paintings. So we can understand that notably the highest god is characterised by his bright eyes In both cases Athene appears to one of the heroes. This time she has to prevent Achilles from killing his commander and therefore she manifests herself in her full power so as to impress the self-reliant hero. In v, on the other hand, she wants to comfort Odysseus, who is at the end of his wits.

    I think. But now it is. The Elegies are here, they exist. That one has endured it! That one has endured. From February , , in the midst of the work on the elegies and sonnets, Rilke also wrote Letter to a Young Poet. So show him something simple which, formed over generations, lives as our own, near our hand and within our gaze. He will stand astonished; as you stood by the rope-maker in Rome or the potter along the Nile. Show him how happy a Thing can be, how innocent and ours, how even lamenting grief purely decides to take form, serves as a Thing, or dies into a Thing—, and blissfully escapes far beyond the violin.

    They want us to change them, utterly, in our invisible heart, within — oh endlessly — within us! Whoever we may be at last. In Muzot, Rilke went through his correspondence and wrote in this context to a friend in Munich, Gertrud Ouckama Knoop, whose daughter Wera, a talented dancer and musician, died of leukemia at Rilke asked her mother to send him an object dear to Wera. In response, Gertrud Ouckama Knoop sent him sketches she had written about the illness and death of her daughter.

    Reading these pages became an important catalyst for the creation of the Sonnets to Orpheus. You will understand at first glance why it is that you must be the first to possess them.