Disguise and Recognition in the Odyssey

Disguise and Recognition in the Odyssey

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This book is a comprehensive study of the Odyssey's plot, which shows how the motifs of disguise and recognition are used to articulate the central values of Homeric society. The story of Odysseus' homecoming is discussed in relation to family dynamics, heroic competition, the social institutions of marriage and hospitality, gender relations, and the enduring power of song.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 150 pages
  • 165 x 240 x 18mm | 408g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 2nd Edition
  • 0739129538
  • 9780739129531
  • 1,965,126

Table of contents

Chapter 1. Recognition and the Return of Odysseus Chapter 2. Odysseus and the Suitors Chapter 3. Recognition and Hospitality Chapter 4. Penelope Chapter 5. Recognition and Song Chapter 6 Conclusion
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Review quote

All those who treasure Homer's great poem, from Classical scholars to the general reader, have reason to rejoice at the reappearance of this landmark study. Part of a rich flowering of scholarship on the Odyssey over the past thirty years, Murnaghan's book focuses on the riddles of identity that lie at the heart of the poem and take us to its central ideas about the human condition. The author's analysis of the relationship between form and meaning in the Odyssey is one of the most important contributions to Homeric scholarship in the past half-century. -- Thomas Van Nortwick, Oberlin College Disguise and Recognition is a feminist classic as well as a superbly nuanced work of literary criticism. It broke entirely new ground within Classics and Feminist Studies by furnishing an answer to the conundrum of Penelope in the Odyssey, more than her husband's equal and yet tolerating a position subservient to him without complaint. Murnaghan's argument that Penelope is construed as a heroic type who achieves her goals by cunning intelligence, only to be knocked down as such by an ideological imperative inimical to male-female equality, has become the standard interpretation. No modern literary classicist can afford not to read this book. -- Edith Hall, Royal Holloway University of London
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About Sheila Murnaghan

Sheila Murnaghan is professor of Classical studies and Alfred Reginald Allen Memorial Professor of Greek at The University of Pennsylvania. She is author of Women and Slaves in Greco-Roman Culture: Differential Equations.
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