The Bow and the Lyre: A Platonic Reading of the Odyssey by Seth Benardete

By Seth Benardete

During this fascinating interpretation of the Odyssey, the past due well known student Seth Benardete means that Homer can have been the 1st to philosophize in a Platonic feel. He argues that the Odyssey issues exactly the relation among philosophy and poetry and, extra greatly, the rational and the irrational in people. In mild of this hazard, Bernardete works backward and forward from Homer to Plato to ascertain the relation among knowledge and justice and attempts to get well an unique realizing of philosophy that Plato, too, recovered through reflecting at the knowledge of the poet. At stake in his argument is not any under the heritage of philosophy and the traditional knowing of poetry. The Bow and the Lyre is a e-book that each classicist and historian of philosophy may still have.

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Extra resources for The Bow and the Lyre: A Platonic Reading of the Odyssey

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Whether the memory of terror is longer lasting than the memory of gratitude is another question. The action of the Odyssey had begun with Zeus’s recollection of Aegisthus, and how he had sent Hermes to warn him. Zeus now sends Hermes to Calypso, who under protest obeys the instructions Hermes transmits. 146–47). 102 [cf. 539). There is in the present time of the Odyssey nothing like the storm he once arranged at the Sun’s request. Perhaps Zeus can remain the father of men only if Odysseus ceases to be like a father to his people.

Telemachus’s willingness to stay at Sparta is a sign that Helen has convinced him that, if he is ever to meet his father, his father 30 Chapter Two must find him and not he his father. Odysseus is too mysterious to let himself be found out against his will. Menelaus never explains why he chose to wander for eight years with his five ships. 68–69). Menelaus picks up the story at the end of his wandering, when the gods detained him on the island of Pharos off the coast of Egypt. 41 He tells Eidothea—‘‘goddess of looks’’ or ‘‘goddess of knowledge’’—who took pity on him, that it was not because he took pleasure in suffering that he stayed on the island but because, without his knowing it, he must have sinned against the gods.

Athena’s presence is needed, apparently, to support such an understanding; she is not needed in any case at the home of Menelaus and Helen. It turns out that Nestor knows nothing about Odysseus since they parted ten years ago; Menelaus has the latest news, and his is two years old. Athena must have had more in mind than her stated purpose. 206–9). 123–25). Nestor puts side by side two different meanings of eoike: the semblance of Telemachus’ speeches to Odysseus’s (muthoi ge eoikotes) and the sensibleness of his speaking (eoikota muthe¯sasthai).

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