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  2. Homer, the Teacher
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  4. Cambridge The Transvestite Achilles 2009
  5. The Transvestite Achilles: Gender and Genre in Statius' Achilleid - P. J. Heslin - Google книги
Achilles' heel

The king agrees to her request. One of the main themes up through this section, and as an undercurrent for the rest of the book, is that of maternal anxiety on the part of Thetis. Some authors have made note of the strong emphasis on and significance of Thetis and her concern here, especially as compared to in other Classical works.

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Konstan points out that many scholars have interpreted the depiction of Achilles disguised as a girl as symbolizing his maturation from a child living among women to an adult. Konstan believes that Statius in fact focuses more on the humorous aspects of the story, thus providing a comedic contrast to the serious tones of war by "delight[ing] in the naughty humor of the situation and the deflation of epic pretentiousness.

The Greeks muster their forces at Aulis but notice that Achilles is missing. The prophet Calchas sees in a trance that Achilles has been hidden on Scyros, and Ulysses and Diomedes depart to fetch him. Achilles continues to fall in love with Deidamia, who has by now discovered his true identity and is helping him to maintain his disguise.

Achilles rapes Deidamia in a sacred grove and she makes the conscious decision to forgive him for this indiscretion and keep it a secret. She becomes pregnant and gives birth to their child Neoptolemus , although he is never referred to by name in the Achilleid. Ulysses and Diomedes arrive at Scyros, are entertained by Lycomedes, and set out gifts for his daughters. When Achilles alone is attracted by the shield and helmet and not the more womanly items, his identity is revealed, as Ulysses had intended.

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Achilles, now convinced to follow the Greek heroes to war, explains for the first time his relationship with Deidamia and their baby son and persuades Lycomedes to allow him to officially marry his daughter. Deidamia sees the future and recites a speech of despair, expressing her hope that Achilles will one day return to her.

After praying to his mother for forgiveness, Achilles sets sail from Scyros with Ulysses and Diomedes. Lines 23— Deidamia and Achilles each grieve, separately, for the loss of the other.

Homer, the Teacher

Ulysses tries to take Achilles' mind off his wife. Lines 49— Ulysses tells the story of the events leading up to the war on which they are about to embark and expresses his indignation at Paris' reckless abduction of Helen and the threat that he feels toward society as a whole as a result. Lines 86— Per Diomedes' request, Achilles tells of his youth, his hunting exploits, and the teachings of Chiron. The poem ends with the closure of Achilles' narrative.

The Achilleid has generally received far more positive criticism than the Thebaid. One branch of this focuses on comparisons between the two poems; many scholars see a drastic difference between the "serious" and "Iliadic" Thebaid and the playful "Ovidian" Achilleid.

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Some have seen the Achilleid as Statius' attempt to write an entirely new multi-generic type of epic as a challenge to the Virgilian model. Critics have also said that the Achilleid was a failure because Statius wrote it as an attempt to constitute an alternative epic tradition, which he was unsuccessful in doing. However, it has also been argued that Statius' alternative epic tradition has influenced some of his successors.

Claudian 's De raptu Proserpinae emulated Statius' alternative epic tradition, leaving his work seemingly unfinished. Claudian believed that the inevitability of Homeric and Virgilian narrative was the cause of Statius' inability to proceed. Statius' Achilleid also had a great impact in the realm of opera in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries across Europe.

Cambridge The Transvestite Achilles 2009

These operas raised the issues of transvestitism, biological sex, and social gender. When a woman played the character of Achilles, the audience saw a woman playing the role of a man pretending to be a woman. When a castrato played Achilles, the unveiling of the "girl" forced the observation of a contrast between the fictional character who sheds his false gender identity on Scyros and the singer who cannot.

For later writers such as Pietro Metastasio and Paolo Rolli , the myth teaches that gender is essential, in that the masculinity of Achilles is a primal force of nature that cannot be hidden, and it is a crucial component of his heroism. Following that was the opera, Achille in Sciro , first performed in Ferrara in In ancient epic, women have been portrayed through various roles that help, hinder, and protect characters from disaster.


The Transvestite Achilles: Gender and Genre in Statius' Achilleid - P. J. Heslin - Google книги

Greek poets, such as Homer, have generally illustrated women as victims of conflict, the cause of conflict, negotiators among combatant men, and mourners of the dead. In the Achilleid , classicist P. Heslin argues that Statius upholds the Roman trend of portraying women as "heroic blockers" with the development of Thetis' character.

In the Achilleid , Thetis is a prophet, protector, and hinderer to Achilles. She desperately tries to protect Achilles from going off to fight the Trojan War, knowing that he will die in battle if he goes. Thetis's initial reaction of anger to this knowledge inspiring her idea to sink Paris's fleet imitates the classic anger of the goddess Juno. However, her surge in anger does not help her protect Achilles. Thetis's supplication of Neptune mirrors Venus's supplication of Neptune in the Aeneid, except Thetis's attempt fails whereas Venus's succeeds.

She also hinders the course of Achilles' fate by trying to change his destiny, which is to become one of the most glorified heroes in Greek history. The other major female character in the Achilleid is Deidamia. Heslin argues that Achilles rapes Deidamia in order to assert his masculinity because dressing and acting like a woman makes him feel belittled. Expedited and Standard International rates are the same. List this Seller's Books.

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  • Publisher: Cambridge. About this title Synopsis: As we follow Achilles' metamorphosis from wild boy to demure girl to lover to hero, Statius brilliantly illustrates a series of contrasting codes of behavior: male and female, epic and elegiac. Store Description Independent Bookstores since Visit Seller's Storefront Association Member. Terms of Sale: All items subject to prior sale.