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Homeric VoicesDiscourse, Memory, Gender$
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Elizabeth Minchin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280124.001.0001

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Storytelling and Gender

Storytelling and Gender

(p.245) 10 Storytelling and Gender
Homeric Voices

Elizabeth Minchin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines stories from the world of Homer to observe whether Homer is consistent in his representation of gender differences in storytelling in respect of theme, content, and presentation. Homer's men tell longer stories and observe other markers of men's storytelling in the Western world of today. Women tell fewer stories, but these are appropriate to the worlds in which they live: stories of failure, loss, and unhappiness. The exception is Helen in the Odyssey. Women, unlike men, do not seek praise and admiration; what they hope to hear are mirror-stories, which show that the point of their story has been taken. Their stories throw the physicality of the hero into relief against their own more passive role, in the home and with the family.

Keywords:   Jennifer Coates, gender, storytelling, Helen, hero, Odysseus, mirror-story

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