By Dr Helen Lovatt
The epic style has at its middle fascination and horror at viewing dying. Epic heroes have energetic visible strength, but turn into gadgets, changed into monuments, watched via major audiences: the gods above and the ladies at the sidelines. This stimulating and impressive learn investigates the topic of imaginative and prescient in Greek and Latin epic from Homer to Nonnus, bringing the perimeters of epic into discussion with the main celebrated moments (the visible disagreement of Hector and Achilles, the failure of Turnus' gaze), revealing epic as either substantial statement of authority and fractured illustration. It demonstrates the complexity of epic buildings of gender: from Apollonius' Medea toppling Talos with in basic terms her eyes to Parthenopaeus as item of wish. On demonstrate are the vertical gaze of the gods, mortal responses, prophets as penetrative audience and rape sufferers, ecphrasis as objectification, ladies at the partitions watching sidelong, heroic our bodies fragmented and fetishized.
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Extra resources for The Epic Gaze: Vision, Gender and Narrative in Ancient Epic
125–58, though in response to Poseidon, and not apparently viewing events in the mortal realm himself. 282–4 and 375–8. 472–88. Feeney 1991: 56–69 on the absence of Zeus in the Argonautica. 1123, but there are no actual scenes of Zeus watching. 237–48, Athene’s viewing of the Argo after they leave Phineus is combined with her presence; her movement down from Olympus is compared to a man thinking about and straining to see his way home. 6– 10 Hera and Athene watch the Argonauts as they hide in the reeds.
Bakker 1993: 15. See further Bakker 2005 on Homeric performance and visualisation, esp. ch. 8, ‘Remembering the god’s arrival’. On Ovid, see Wheeler 1999. It would be proﬁtable to pursue this in other Hellenistic and Roman epics. 111 More tendentiously, one might argue that narrative poetry in the ancient world has the same cultural hegemony, penetration and prestige as cinema has in ours. 113 For all the similarities, the differences between ﬁlm and epic are equally important: by drawing out the visual side of epic, ideas from ﬁlm studies and other visual theories take us away from words and the poet, and instead privilege the reader or listener as spectator.
24 Introduction 2011 was particularly useful for thinking about Homeric visions. 105 Despite all the work on vision in individual epic poets, this book offers something different by putting them all together. My original aim, to gain a stronger sense of what is epic about epic, even to redeﬁne our sense of the genre, might seem hubristic, but pursuing this theme across so many epic poems has certainly brought into relief the central structures of the genre and their many variations and subversions.