Download The Talking Greeks: Speech, Animals, and the Other in Homer, by John Heath PDF

By John Heath

What drove the traditional Greeks to discover human nature and invent Western politics? This ebook argues that the Greeks believed speech made people diversified from different animals. yet, this zoological comparability additionally supplied the metaphorical potential for viewing these 'lacking' authoritative speech--women, barbarians, and slaves, etc.--as bestial. This hyperlink among speech, humanity, and standing is printed via shut examine of either Homeric epics, classical Athenian tradition, Aeschylus' Oresteia, and Plato's Dialogues.

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Extra info for The Talking Greeks: Speech, Animals, and the Other in Homer, Aeschylus, and Plato

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The book concludes with an Epilogue that considers some of the consequences of using animals as the basis for the Other. In some ways, this study is meant to lay the groundwork for further exploration of the history of attitudes towards animals in the West. What are the consequences for animals of this Hellenic definition of humanity and thus of moral worth? ”104 To quiz L´evy-Strauss on what most people take to be the unassailable side of his equation: animals may be good to think with, but are they really all that good to eat?

545). After killing twenty geese, the eagle flies to the queen and provides an interpretation of his own actions: a bird before, he has returned as her husband to kill the suitors. The combination of prophecy and Penelope’s own wishful thinking – some scholars have even suggested she has a certain affection for the fowl9 – make the eagle’s speaking particularly portentous, but there is nothing magical here: it is a fantasy. Not even in the folk-tale world of Odysseus’ distant wandering do we find talking animals.

Pelliccia (1995) 105–7 convincingly refutes Johnston’s claim (1992) that the horses could always speak. 144; trs. Clay (1974) 132; see Labarri`ere (1984) 39–40 for Aristotle’s distinction between logos and phonˆe. ; Keller (1963) vol. ; Richardson (1974) ad 18; Lilja (1974) 72, and Pelliccia (1995) 107–8, with references to other speaking animals in prophecy. This is not the same as a fable; see Van Dijk (1997) 124–6. ” I have tried to show elsewhere (1992a) that the horses are part of a series of divine gifts – Chiron’s spear, Peleus’ armor, Thetis herself – that carry inherent symbolism of mortality and the rift between men and gods.

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