Cox, Rogers, Odysseus & Procrustus

Robert V. Scheetz ay581 at yfn.ysu.edu
Tue Aug 1 15:52:42 MDT 1995



Cox, Rogers, Odysseus and Procrustus

The Iliad reflects a patriarchal society (the sacrifice of Iphigenia, female
chattel, Helen, Breseis, Priam's 50 wives, idealization of the martial ethos, idealization
of male homoeroticism, ....).  In contrast the Odyssey reflects a bourgeois society,
the idealization of the trickster, cunning, wilyness ...and sophist's verbal skills and the
sophistical employment of the Logos; a domestic society centered around the nest
with its faithful wife, child, dog, and old servants, for which Odysseus is
homesick (not exactly virile motivation)...a matriarchy.

This is deja vu for me.  I remember raising this same contrast 30 years ago.
The fallacy resides in the confounding of discrete vestigial forms with the
informing ethos...as in, today's suburbanite sunday churchgoer does not
signify a "believer,"  for all the monographs that tell us how extraordinarily
religious an industrialized society we are.



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