Perfidy and Passion: Reintroducing the Iliad

Paperback | August 6, 2012

byMark Buchan

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Homer’s Iliad is often considered a poem of blunt truthfulness, his characters’ motivation pleasingly simple. A closer look, however, reveals a complex interplay of characters who engage in an awful lot of lies. Beginning with Achilles, who hatches a secret plot to destroy his own people, Mark Buchan traces motifs of deception and betrayal throughout the poem. Homer’s heroes offer bluster, their passion linked to and explained by their lack of authenticity. Buchan reads Homer’s characters between the lies, showing how the plot is structured individual denial and what cannot be said.

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Homer’s Iliad is often considered a poem of blunt truthfulness, his characters’ motivation pleasingly simple. A closer look, however, reveals a complex interplay of characters who engage in an awful lot of lies. Beginning with Achilles, who hatches a secret plot to destroy his own people, Mark Buchan traces motifs of deception and betr...

Mark Buchan has taught classics at the University of Washington, Princeton University, and Columbia University. He has also published on a wide range of topics within Greek literature and philosophy. His main scholarly focus has been on the Homeric poems. He lives in New York.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:August 6, 2012Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299286347

ISBN - 13:9780299286347

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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: The Cast of Characters: Riddles of Identity in the Iliad

1 The Tragedy of Achilles: The Iliad as a Poem of Betrayal

2 Comedy and Class Struggle

3 The Politics of Poetry

4 The Poetry of Politics

5 Couples: The Iliad on Intimacy

6 Flirtations

7 The Afterlife of Homer

Conclusion: Who Killed Homer? How to Sum up the Iliad in a Riddle

Notes

References

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Buchan shows that deception and betrayal play a fundamental role in the classic poems, confirming that what is unsaid, and even the lies told, are as important as what is said.”—Choice