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The Alexandra of LycophronA Literary Study$
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Charles McNelis and Alexander Sens

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199601899

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199601899.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 April 2021

The Best of the Achaeans Redefined

The Best of the Achaeans Redefined

Cassandra’s Achilles

(p.101) 5 The Best of the Achaeans Redefined
The Alexandra of Lycophron

Charles McNelis

Alexander Sens

Oxford University Press

Throughout her prophecy, Cassandra pointedly denies glory, kleos, to Greeks at precisely those places in the narrative that correspond to moments in the literary tradition where they attain it, whereas she grants it to members of her own family, both near and extended, in terms that evoke antecedent treatment of Greek kleos. In this sense, the Alexandra comments, implicitly and tendentiously, on the power of the literary tradition, and especially epic, to compensate heroes for their suffering and death. This chapter explores Cassandra’s treatment of one of the most important heroes of the epic tradition, Achilles. Cassandra’s account subverts the epic treatment of that hero, casting him as effeminate and suggesting that he received no real compensation for his martial activities and early death.

Keywords:   Achilles, kleos, prophecy, literary tradition, epic, hero

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