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Homer's Cosmic FabricationChoice and Design in the Iliad$
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Bruce Heiden

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195341072

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195341072.001.0001

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Paths of Thought—Iliad Cycle I

Paths of Thought—Iliad Cycle I

Homer's Cosmic Fabrication

Bruce Heiden (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the hypothesis that the three-cycle design might also furnish orientation to themes. The research finds that thematically analogous books are situated in analogous positions in their respective cycles, so that the thematic and positional analogies offer mutually reinforcing cues. Books 3 and 6, 2 and 7, and 1 and 8 are subjected to close examination. It is found that thematically analogous passages usually feature substantial differences in diction, so that the analogies cannot be an unintended byproduct of generic formulas. Examination of thematic differences between analogous passages finds that variations describe trajectories of transformation. In particular, choices become progressively less determined by material factors and correspondingly more symbolic.

Keywords:   analogy, cycles, Iliad book 1, Iliad book 2, Iliad book 3, Iliad book 6, Iliad book 7, Iliad book 8, orientation, symbol

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