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Of epic proportions : an examination of Polyphemus, narrative, and culture in Greco-Roman epics

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dc.contributor.author Nicholson, Alice
dc.date.accessioned 2021-06-30T12:36:32Z
dc.date.available 2021-06-30T12:36:32Z
dc.date.issued 2021-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/23295
dc.description.abstract Polyphemus became a staple character throughout Greco-Roman epic, appearing in famous epics such as Homer’s Odyssey, Vergil’s Aeneid, and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Using Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s “Monster Culture (Seven Theses),” an essay meant to read monsters through the cultures in which they appear, it is understood that Polyphemus is a cultural foil and antagonist. While the tradition of Polyphemus’ cultural readings in the Odyssey is long, there is a lack of such scholarship for the Aeneid and Metamorphoses. Using Cohen’s theses to frame my reading, I aim to suggest my own cultural readings through examining the duality of Polyphemus in the narration of each epic by looking at moments where Polyphemus is both violent and evoking pathos. This duality is contextualized through both the literary association of Polyphemus with the mythical Golden Age, a time of ease and the pastoral but also a lack of cultural progression, and the metaliterary interaction with literary predecessors. Through analyzing the violence and pathos in each epic, I suggest a cultural reading of Polyphemus as a representation of Greco-Roman anxieties about the past and discuss the complexities of such associations. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Polyphemus (Cyclops) en_US
dc.title Of epic proportions : an examination of Polyphemus, narrative, and culture in Greco-Roman epics en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Classics
    The Haverford College Classics Theses collection also includes theses submitted to the Bryn Mawr College Classics Department.
  • Classics Senior Theses (2011-present)
    The Bryn Mawr College Classics Senior Theses collection also includes theses submitted to the Haverford College Classics Department.

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