The Individual Voice

Peter Green

in The Shadow of the Parthenon

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780520255074
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520934719 | DOI:
The Individual Voice

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This chapter compares Homer with Hesiod or Archilochus, the first two post-Homeric Greek poets whose work still survives. It observes that Homeric epic is not personal in its scope or presentation: it does not seek to reflect—except incidentally, through extended similes—the manners, beliefs, background, or deeds of the audience for whom it was composed. The chapter notes that the contrast which Hesiod and Archilochus presented to Homer was its Ur-form. It opines that they offer the first clear instance of that perennial swing in European literature, between formalism and realism, mandarin and vernacular, the ideal and the individual, myth making and direct observation.

Keywords: Homer; Hesiod; Archilochus; Homeric Greek poets; similes; Ur-form; European literature

Chapter.  14545 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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