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Robert Graves and the Classical Tradition$
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A. G. G. Gibson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198738053

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198738053.001.0001

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Freedom to Invent

Freedom to Invent

Graves’s Iconoclastic Approach to Antiquity

Chapter:
(p.201) 10 Freedom to Invent
Source:
Robert Graves and the Classical Tradition
Author(s):

Isobel Hurst

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198738053.003.0011

This chapter examines Robert Graves’s poetry in the context of his classical education and his idiosyncratic responses to the canons of classical and English literature. Graves adopts a tone of humorous detachment in his poetry, and values writers such as Ovid. The Odyssey is an important influence for Graves, who interprets Homer as a satirist. In his reinterpretations of Greek myth, Graves celebrates his freedom to supply missing details from his imagination rather than having to adhere to scholarly standards of evidence, and creates alternative versions that critique the treatment of love and relationships between the sexes in patriarchal mythology from an unorthodox perspective.

Keywords:   Robert Graves’s poetry, reception of Greece, reception of Rome, Greek myth, Homer, Ovid, classical education, love

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