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Greek Poets

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Iliad and The Odyssey, which have had an enormous effect on Western culture, but very little is known about their alleged author. The Mystery of Homer Homer is a mystery. The Greek epic poet credited with the enduring epic tales of The Iliad and The Odyssey Is an enigma insofar as actual facts of his life go. Some scholars believe him to be one man; others think these Iconic stones were created by a group. A variation on the group Idea stems from the fact that storytelling was an oral tradition and Homer Is the one who took the time to write It down.

Homer’s style, whoever he was, falls more in the category of minstrel poet or ladder, as opposed to a cultivated poet who is the product of a fervent literary moment, such as a Virgil or a Shakespeare. The stories have repetitive elements, almost like a chorus or refrain, which suggests a musical element. However, Homer’s works are designated as epic rather than lyric poetry, which was originally recited with lyre in hand, much in the same vein as spoken-word performances. All this speculation about who he was has Inevitably led to what is known as the Homeric Question-?whether he actually existed at all.

This Is often considered to be the greatest literary mystery. When He Was Born Much speculation surrounds when Homer was born, because of the dearth of real information about him. Guesses at his birth date range from 750 BC all the way back to 1200 BC, the latter because The Iliad encompasses the story of the Trojan War, so some scholars have thought it fit to put the poet and chronicler nearer to the time of that actual event. But others believe the poetic style of his work indicates a much later period. Greek historian Herodotus (c. 484425 SC), often called the father of history, placed Homer several centuries before himself, around 850 BC.

Part of the problem is that Homer lived before a chronological dating system was in place. The Olympic Games of classical Greece marked an epoch, with 776 BC as a starting point by which to measure out four-year periods for the event. In short, It Is difficult to give someone a birth date when he was born before there was a calendar. Where He Was Born Once again, the exact location of Homer’s birth cannot be pinpointed, although that rate, on the coast of Asia Minor or the island of Choices. But seven cities lay claim to Homer as their native son. There is some basis for some of these claims, however.

The dialect that The Iliad and The Odyssey are written in is considered Asiatic Greek, specifically Ionic. That fact, paired with frequent mentions of local phenomena such as strong winds blowing from the northwest from the direction of Thrace, suggests, scholars feel, a familiarity with that region that could only mean Homer came from there. The dialect helps narrow down his lifespan by coinciding it with the development and usage of language in general, but The Iliad and The Odyssey were so popular that this particular dialect became the norm for much of Greek literature going forward.

The Iliad and The Odyssey Homer’s two epic poems have become archetypal road maps in world mythology. The stories provide an important insight into early human society, and illustrate, in some aspects, how little has changed. Even if The Iliad itself seems unfamiliar, the story of the siege of Troy, the Trojan War and Paris’ kidnapping of Helen, the world’s most beautiful woman, are all familiar characters or scenarios. Some scholars insist that Homer was personally familiar with the plain of Troy, due to the geographical accuracy in the poem.

The Odyssey picks up after the fall of Troy. Further controversy about authorship brings from the differing styles of the two long narrative poems, indicating they were composed a century apart, while other historians claim only decades -the more formal structure of The Iliad is attributed to a poet at the height of his powers, whereas the more colloquial, novelistic approach in The Odyssey is attributed to an elderly Homer. Homer enriched his descriptive story with liberal use of simile and metaphor, which has inspired a long path of writers behind him.

His structuring device was to start in the middle-in medias rest- and then fill in the missing information via remembrances. The two narrative poems pop up throughout modern literature: Homer’s The Odyssey has parallels in James Jockey’s Ulysses, and his tale of Achilles in The Iliad is echoed in J. R. R. Toolkit’s The Fall of Condoling. Even the Cone Brothers’ film O Brother, Where Art Thou? Makes use of The Odyssey. Other works have been attributed to Homer over the centuries, most notably the Homeric Hymns, but in the end only the two epic works remain enduringly his.

Quote About Homer: “Homer and Hissed have ascribed to the gods all things that are a shame and a disgrace among mortals, stealing and adulteries and deceiving on one another. ” SHOP The dates of Shop or Shoppe are not known. She is thought to have been born around 610 B. C. And to have died in about 570. This was the period of the sages Thales, considered, by Aristotle, the founder of natural philosophers, and Solon, the law-giver of Athens. In Rome, it was the time of the legendary kings. Shop is thought to have come from Imminently on the island of Losses.

Shop’s Poetry: Playing with the available meters, Shop wrote moving lyric poetry. A poetic meter was named in honor of her. Shop wrote odes to the goddesses, especially Aphrodite the subject of Shop’s complete surviving ode, and love otter, including the wedding genre (epithelial), using vernacular and epic vocabulary. She also wrote about herself, her women’s community, and her times. Her writing about her times was very different from her contemporary Locales, whose poetry was more political.

Transmission of Shop’s Poetry: Although we do not know how Shop’s poetry was transmitted, by the Hellenic Era when Alexander the Great (d. 323 B. C. ) had brought Greek culture from Egypt to the Indus River, Shop’s poetry was published. Along with the writing of other lyric poets, Shop’s poetry was categorized metrically. By the Middle Ages most of Shop’s poetry was lost, and so today there are only parts of four poems. Only one of them is complete. There are also fragments of her poetry, including 63 complete, single lines and perhaps 264 fragments.

The fourth poem is a recent discovery from rolls of papyrus in Cologne University. Legends About Shop’s Life: There is a legend that Shop leaped to her death as the result of a failed love affair with a man named Phonon. This is probably untrue. Shop is usually counted a lesbian the very word coming from the island where Shop lived, and Shop’s otter clearly shows that she loved some of the women of her community, whether or not the passion was expressed sexually. Shop may have been married to a wealthy man named Scarcely.

Established Facts About Shop: Larches and Charades were Shop’s brothers. She also had a daughter named Clevis or Class. In the community of women in which Shop participated and taught, singing, poetry, and dance played a big part. Earthly Muse: An elegiac poet of the first century B. C. Named Antimatter of Thessalonians catalogued the most respected women poets and called them the nine earthly muses. Shop was one of these earthly muses. AESCHYLUS Aeschylus Basics Aeschylus was born at Leslies in Attica in 525/524 and died at Gala in Sicily in 456/55.

The 7 Surviving (out of 90) Tragedies Persians – 472 Seven Against Thebes – 468 Suppliant Women – 463 (Trilogy) – 458 Agamemnon Mudslide Prometheus Bound – 450-425 Aeschylus Facts and Figures Dating Suppliant Women is problematic. It was thought to be the earliest, performed in the ass’s, but a recently discovered papyrus fragment suggests it was performed at the same festival as a play by Sophocles, whose first victory and performance took place in 468. Because of a reference on the papyrus to an archon, 463 may be the est. guess.

We don’t know when Prometheus Bound was performed or even if it was really by Aeschylus. [Sallies Ghettos comments, “Prometheus Bound is a pre- scene play, dating to approximately 460 BCC. ] Aeschylus was the earliest of the three great tragic poets of Greece-Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. He was born at Leslies in 525 B. C. E. , served in the Athenian army, and fought in the pivotal battles of the great Greek war with the Persians, including at Marathon. He showed himself as a great writer at a young age, but did not win a dramatic competition before his late ass.

After that, he won nearly every time he entered, until he reached the age of 50 and Sophocles arrived on the scene. The two of them struggled back and forth for years for top honors. After the performance of his Roasters, 459 B. C. E. , he left home for Sicily, perhaps in response to the growing power of the democracy (toward which he had nuanced views), and was killed, says one story, by an eagle dropping a tortoise on his bare skull. The Sicilians honored him with a splendid monument.

A century later, the Athenians, on the motion of the orator Ulcerous, placed a brazen statue of him, as well as of Sophocles and Euripides, in the theater. His tragedies, like those of Sophocles and Euripides, were preserved in a special standard copy to guard them against arbitrary alterations. I In 458 B. C. E. , he composed the Roasters, a trilogy of which we will be reading the first and last parts. The story recounts the murder of Agamemnon on his return home from the Trojan War, Rooster’ revenge by murdering his own mother and her lover, and finally Rooster’ run-in with justice.

Probably his final work performed at Athens, it gives us an idea of the whole artistic conception of the poet, and must be looked upon as one of the greatest works of art ever produced. The style is marked by sublimity and majesty and is characterized by strong, sonorous words, an accumulation of epithets, and a profusion of bold metaphors and similes. His view of the universe reveals a profoundly philosophic mind and a heartfelt piety, which conceives of the gods as powers working in the interest of morality. The plots of his plays are simple and economical, and small details in the language are often freighted with significance.

I Aeschylus deserves to be seen as the true creator of tragedy. Before his plays, only a single actor was positioned onstage at any given time, and the chorus was the most important element on stage. The actor could wonder aloud or have conversations with the chorus, but there was no room for person-to-person dialogue. By adding a second actor to the first, he originated the genuine dramatic dialogue, which he made the chief part of the play by gradually cutting down the choral parts. He also made much greater use of the scenic apparatus than his predecessors.

He introduced masks for the players, and by vibrant and richly embroidered trailing garments, high boots, head-dresses, and other means, gave them a grand imposing painting and machinery. All these features became the standard elements of ancient drama. I The number of Aeschylus plays is stated as 90, of which 82 are still known by title, but only 7 are preserved: The Persians, The Seven against Thebes, The Suppliants, Prometheus Bound, and the three plays of the Roasters. I MEANDER After the Macedonian conquest, Greek comedy moved away from the daring personal and political satire of Aristotelian.

Lacking complete political independence, writers of this New Comedy found themselves moving towards safer more mundane subject matter. They found their inspiration in the daily life of Athens. Their characters were drawn from the cooks, merchants, farmers and slaves of the city. According to ancient report, the most gifted of these new writers was Meander. Meander, the child of a distinguished family, wrote more than 100 plays during a career that spanned about thirty-three years. He was known for the delicacy and truthfulness of his characterizations, and his poetic style was often mentioned in the same breath as Homer’s.

Although he won first prize at only eight festivals, he did much to move comedy towards a more realistic representation of human life. Meander’s harassers spoke in the contemporary dialect and concerned themselves not with the great myths of the past, but rather with the everyday affairs of the people of Athens. His plots revolved around young boys in love with young girls, parents concerned with the misbehaver of their children, unwanted pregnancies, long-lost relatives, and all sorts of sexual misadventures. His first play, The Self Tormentor, was written at the age of twenty.

And he won his first victory with a play entitled Anger in 316 B. C. Meander’s plays held a place in the standard literature of western Europe for over 800 years. At some point, however, his manuscripts were lost or destroyed, and what we now know of the poet is based primarily on ancient reports, a few manuscripts which have been recovered in the last hundred years, and adaptations by the Roman playwrights Plateaus and Terrace. There is only one complete play–Dossals (The Grouch)–which was not rediscovered until 1957.

A few long fragments have survived as well from such plays as The Arbitration, The Girl from Samos, The Shorn Girl, and The Hero. “He who labors diligently need never despair, for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor. ” -? Meander PONIARD Biographical Data Poniard, although difficult for many of us today to read or appreciate, was considered one of, if not the greatest Greek lyric poet. He was born at the time of the Python festival at Delphi in either the 65th Olympian (518) according to the Suds, or in the 64th Olympian, 4 years earlier, at Conceptually, near Thebes, in Biota.

A contemporary of Aeschylus, Poniard was around 40 years of age during the Persian War of 481-479 B. C. He probably died in 443 B. C. At Argos, at around the age of 80. His daughters, Approximate and Emits brought his ashes back to Thebes where a mob was built and mentioned centuries later by the travel writer Pausing. Use of Because Poniard was so valued in antiquity, much of his poetry survives at least in quotations. He is now valued for information contained in his poetry on the ancient games and Greek mythology.

Much of his material may seem obscure and there is a repetitious nature to the biographical detail he provides on those men he celebrates. As a result, students often resist working on him. [The Extant Odes of Poniard, by Ernest Myers; 1884]. Poniard had a problem at the start of his career with the amount of mythological detail he used. His rival, the female poet Ocarina faulted him, according to Sandy, for failing to use mythological material in his lyric, so he went the other way and used it too liberally. He was then chided for his heavy- handedness.

Training It is possible that Poniard’s family was Spartan, but he was Boating, home also of the epic poet Hissed. Biota was considered somewhat backwards. This influence may explain Poniard’s conservatism, although he studied music (stringed instruments and the LULAS ‘flute’) at the center of Greek culture, in Athens, where he studied lyric composition under Stagecoaches, Pollards, and Luaus of Hormone, following his initial instruction at home under Couplings, who may have been his father or uncle. Sandy says his parents were Diaphanous and Clicked.

He returned to his homeland of Thebes at about age 20 when he started his career as a lyric poet. Poniard’s Lyric Poetry He is said to have been a contemporary of the poet Ocarina, who beat him in poetic competition. Poniard, however, won first place in the dramatic competition at the Great Dionysian in c. 497/6. Poniard’s 44 Phoenicia (victory odes) are divided into Olympic, Python (the time of Poniard’s birth, noted above)), Isthmian, and Mean, for the names of the Phenylalanine games. The term Pandemic ode refers to a verse form used primarily in England in the 17th and 18th cent.

The form, based on a somewhat faulty understanding of the metrical pattern used by Poniard, originated with Abraham Cooley in his Pandering Odes (1656) and was later used by John Dryden, among others. It is characterized by irregularity in the rhyme scheme, length of the stanzas, and number of stresses in a line. SOPHOCLES Dates: c. 496-406 B. C. Occupation: Playwright Sophocles was the second of the 3 greatest Greek writers of tragedy (with Aeschylus and Euripides). He is known best for what he wrote about Oedipus, he mythological figure who proved central to Freud and the history of psychoanalysis.

He lived through most of the 5th century, experiencing the Age of Perils and the Peloponnesus War. Basics: Sophocles grew up in the town of Colon’s, Just outside Athens, which was the setting of his tragedy Oedipus at Colon’s. His father, Sophocles, thought to have been been a wealthy nobleman, sent his son to Athens for an education. Public Offices: In 443/2 Sophocles was hollandaise or treasurer of the Greeks and managed, with 9 the Arcadian War (431-421) Sophocles was strategies ‘general’.

In 413/2, he was one of the board of 10 opprobrious or commissioners in charge of the council. Religious Office: Sophocles was a priest of Hallo and helped introduce the cult of Ecclesiae, god of medicine, to Athens. He was honored posthumously as a hero. Dramatic Accomplishments: In 468, Sophocles defeated the first of the the three great Greek tragedians, Aeschylus, in a dramatic competition; then in 441, the third of the tragedian trio, Euripides, beat him. During his long life Sophocles earned many prizes, including about 20 for 1st place.

Sophocles increased the number of actors to 3 (thereby educing the importance of the chorus). He broke from Aeschylus’ thematically- unified trilogies, and invented iconographic(scene painting), to define the background. Extant Plays: Seven complete tragedies out of more than 100 survive; fragments exist for 80-90 others. Oedipus at Colon’s was produced posthumously. * Oedipus Tyrannous * Trichinae * Ajax * Plainclothes * Antigen * Electra * Oedipus at Colon’s ARISTOTELIAN Aristotelian (c. 46 BC – c. 386 SC), son of Philippic, of the deem Chasteness, was a comic playwright of ancient. Eleven of his 40 plays survive virtually complete. These, gather with fragments of some of his other plays, provide the only real examples of a genre of comic drama known as Old Comedy, and they are used to define the genre. Also known as the Father of Comedy and the Prince of Ancient Comedy, Aristotelian has been said to recreate the life of ancient Athens more convincingly than any other author.

His powers of ridicule were feared and acknowledged by influential contemporaries; Plato singled out Aristotelian’ play The Clouds as slander contributing to the trial and execution of Socrates although other satirical playwrights had also caricatured the philosopher. His second play, The Babylonians (now lost), was denounced by the demagogue Clean as a slander against the Athenian polis. It is possible that the case was argued in court but details of the trial are not recorded and Aristotelian caricatured Clean mercilessly in his subsequent plays, especially The Knights, the first of many plays that he directed himself. In my opinion,” he says through the Chorus in that play, “the author- director of comedies has the hardest Job of all. ” The language in Aristotelian’ plays and in Old Comedy generally, was valued by ancient commentators as a model of the Attic dialect. The orator Quintillion believed that the charm and grandeur of the Attic dialect made Old Comedy an example for orators to study and follow, and he considered it inferior in these respects only to the works of Homer.

A revival of interest in the Attic dialect may have been responsible for the recovery and circulation of Aristotelian’ plays during the 4th and 5th centuries AD, resulting in his plays can be appreciated for their poetic qualities. EURIPIDES Euripides was born in 480 BC and died in 406 BC. Euripides was the youngest of the three principal fifth-century tragic poets. His work, which was quite popular in his own time, exerted great influence on Roman drama.

In more recent times he has influenced English and German drama, and most conspicuously such French dramatists as Pierre Chronicle and Jean-Batiste Racine. His plays began to be performed in the Attic drama festivals in 454 BC, but it was not until 442 BC that he won first prize. This distinction, despite his prolific talent, fell to him again only four times. Aside from his writings, his chief interests were philosophy and science. Euripides represented the new moral, social, and political movements that were aging place in Athens towards the end of the 5th century BC.

It was a period of enormous intellectual discovery, in which “wisdom” ranked as the highest earthly accomplishment. Angoras had Just proven that air was an element, and that the sun was not a divinity but matter. New truths were being established in all departments of knowledge, and Euripides, reacting to them, brought a new kind of consciousness to the writing of tragedy. His interest lay in the thought and experience of the ordinary individual rather than in the experiences of legendary figures of the heroic past.

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