The Limits of Heroism

Book Details

Author  Mark Buchan
Publisher  University of Michigan Press
Publication Date   January 19, 2005
ISBN  0472113917
Pages  296

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This study examines human desire in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and how it related to heroic ideology. Buchan argues that the poems in fact critiqued the very ideology within which their heroes lay and asks `What happens if we see the Iliad and Odyssey as examining the psychological implications of how not to get what you want' rather than a story of desire and fulfilment of these to reach a certain end. Three tales from the Odyssey , tales of `narrative traumas', are outlined in the first three chapters and set the tone for the remainder of the book which explores how much of the action in both poems can be seen as a response to desire, highlighting the vulnerability and fragility of the human condition.

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