Saturday, September 10, 2011

Polyphemus

One of the things I love about The Aeneid is the fact that it often references the Odyssey, which we've read and thus can understand the allusions! One example I really liked was in Chapter 3 when Polyphemus shows up on the seaside. I thought it was really interesting that he was blind in The Aeneid because of Odysseus and his men. It gives a sort of timeline by comparison. Odysseus was traveling home after the Trojan War, but obviously got to this location before Aeneas. It's pretty cool!

5 comments:

sara pendleton said...

I think it's cool to see the dual sides of the Trojan war. Here the Trojans are the heros, whatever they do is golorious and the greeks (such as Achilles) are demonic. In the Odessy, Achilles is depicted as one of the greatest heros that ever lived, the makes of the Trojen horse are brave and wise and the Trojens themselves are basically brutal savages. Because both cultures conually glorified war and incourperated it into their mythology, it's a pretty heavy reminder of the ever present dual sides of war. Soldiers on both sides lose their best friends, they are scared, they both miss their families, they are both driven by similar cultural pricipals, and they both pray to relitivly the same gods.

mere said...

I think it's funny that someone could think that the Aenied almost plagiarizes the Oddessey. One of the most key aspects of epics such as these is that they follow certain characteristic patterns and employ the conventions. For example, to say that the Aenied copies the Oddyssey's cyclops is absurd. Mythology often takes from different sources, so in a way, this actually makes the story more authentic.

Shaina Lu said...

I definitely agree with you Meredith, I don't think that Virgil plagiarizes from The Iliad or the Odyssey. I also agree that Virgil was simply following the conventions of an epic. And I think your point about authenticity by borrowing is certainly true, although almost in an ironic way.

Besides just blogging to agree with your comments, I wanted to be clear that I didn't think that Virgil was plagiarizing the Cyclops, in fact I thought it was rather ingenious that he incorporated a minor character like Polyphemus from The Odyssey.

Maybe when John Gardner wrote Grendel, he got some inspiration from this sort of dare I say, "borrowing," from Virgil?

christine said...

okay so i still cant figure out how to ppost a new blog so ill just use this. the aeneid has influenced a lot of european artwork. i found this website that shows a couple of the most famous aeneid-based works of art.

http://www.angelfire.com/moon/aeneidart/Analysis.html

mere said...

...there's a button on the top right corner of the blog that says "new post"