Silvio Bär (Oslo): Heracles in Greek Epic: Studies on the Narrativity and Poeticity of a Hero
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In this talk, I will present an ongoing book project which is close to completion: a monograph on the use of Heracles in Greek epic poetry from Homer to Nonnus. By applying the method of narratological character analysis, I attempt to demonstrate that Heracles serves specific narrative and/or metapoetic purposes in the surviving Greek epics. I argue that the Heracles figure is particularly apt to serve this end because of its decidedly multifaceted and in large parts contradictory character, and that Heracles’ inherent character inconsistency can be seen as a paradigm of what I call “die Widerspruchsfähigkeit des Mythos” (“mythology’s ability to contradict itself”).
Silvio Friedrich Bär is professor of Classics (Greek literature) at IFIKK.