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The Alexandra of LycophronA Literary Study$
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Charles McNelis and Alexander Sens

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199601899

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199601899.001.0001

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The Labors of Odysseus

The Labors of Odysseus

Chapter:
(p.131) 6 The Labors of Odysseus
Source:
The Alexandra of Lycophron
Author(s):

Charles McNelis

Alexander Sens

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199601899.003.0006

Much as she diminishes Achilles’ heroism, so, too, does Cassandra cast Odysseus in a negative light. This chapter explores in detail her treatment of that hero. By reconfiguring Odysseus’ account of his own adventures in the Odyssey, Cassandra explicitly engages with the question of their veracity. For her part, she minimizes his accomplishments, and by rewriting the telos of the Odyssey, undercuts the epic idea that the hero’s sufferings are offset by the glory conveyed by poetry. Her account of the adventures of Menelaus is thematically and verbally set up as parallel to her treatment of Odysseus, and rewrites the story that Menelaus himself tells in the Odyssey in a way that underscores the limited success of his nostos.

Keywords:   Odysseus, Odyssey, glory, Menelaus, epic, hero

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