The Epic Gaze

The Epic Gaze : Vision, Gender and Narrative in Ancient Epic

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The epic genre has at its heart a fascination with the horror of viewing death. Epic heroes have active visual power, yet become objects, turned into monuments, watched by two main audiences: the gods above and the women on the sidelines. This stimulating, ambitious study investigates the theme of vision in Greek and Latin epic from Homer to Nonnus, bringing the edges of epic into dialogue with celebrated moments (the visual confrontation of Hector and Achilles, the failure of Turnus' gaze), revealing epic as massive assertion of authority and fractured representation. Helen Lovatt demonstrates the complexity of epic constructions of gender: from Apollonius' Medea toppling Talos with her eyes to Parthenopaeus as object of desire. She discusses mortals appropriating the divine gaze, prophets as both penetrative viewers and rape victims, explores the divine authority of epic ecphrasis, and exposes the way that heroic bodies are fragmented and more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1139060082
  • 9781139060080

Review quote

'The Epic Gaze is distinguished by the comprehensiveness of its discussion from Homer to Nonnus ... strongly recommended for anyone interested in Greco-Roman epic, ancient narrative, or ancient theories of vision.' Neil W. Bernstein, Bryn Mawr Classical Review '... a detailed, thoughtful examination of vision in classical epic ... Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty.' S. E. Goins, Choiceshow more

Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. The divine gaze; 3. The mortal gaze; 4. The prophetic gaze; 5. Ecphrasis and the Other; 6. The female gaze; 7. Heroic bodies on display; 8. The assaultive gaze; 9. Fixing it for good. Medusa and more