polutrope: (Default)
YouTube comments are kind of nutty, eh? someone said "I feel shipwrecked upon the green water of his glance" in the comments to this Jarrousky song (which is nice, though the commenters are right about the quality.
Hereunder is commentary on a novel )

Tripods

Apr. 2nd, 2008 03:49 am
polutrope: (work habits)
Because this is totally better than actually working on my paper due in four hours:

There is no reason for Achilles to refuse Agamemnon's gifts in Book Nine. By giving Achilles gifts, Agamemnon admits that he needs him, and that he was wrong to take Briseis. The gifts, by the way, are worth much more than the slight merits - (from memory) seven tripods [and one tripod, as we learn from the contest, is better than a woman], seven Lesbian women as well as Briseis, one of his daughters to wife, and seven cities. (I think it's a feature of Agamemnon's character that he goes too far in everything: his wrath against Achilles was excessive, but so are the gifts he is willing to give in order to appease him.) Further, Agamemnon subtracts from his own kleos by giving up his own prizes, which the Lesbian women are. He's admitted that Achilles is greater than him and he is willing to lose kleos, which is what Achilles wanted - for Agamemnon to honor him. There's no point in asking Thetis to ask Zeus to destroy the Argives if he's not going to go into battle (unless he actually wants all of them to be killed, which I doubt he does).

Since Achilles has what he had prayed for, the only reason for him to refuse is plot. If he went back to the war at this point, Patroclus wouldn't have to go for him, and would'nt be killed. But the only reason for Patroclus to die is for Achilles to go back into the war, which, if he had gone already, wouldn't need to be forced.

Sure, Achilles states reasons for not going back into battle: because he thinks that Agamemnon is still taking too great a share, because he himself has no quarrel with the Trojans - but then why doesn't he go home? One could argue that it's because he does want to fight, and that his reasons are really excuses, but then why doesn't he leap at Agamemnon's offer?

Depending on how you feel on the authorship of the Iliad, it's a case of et annuit Homer or of a place you could point to as evidence for multiple authors. Say the scene of the embassy is in one version, and the compiler[s] liked it very much and wanted to keep it, but also liked the Patroclus situation we know and love. Perhaps in a different version Achilles took the offer and got killed, as was his fate anyway.

Whether or not it points to multiple authorship, I do think it's interesting that Achilles doesn't take the offer. Maybe I'll write my extra credit paper one that.
polutrope: (Default)
Not that I really like tripartation or anything. But if you're looking for it, and you're not trying to gloss over things that don't fit your theory, like some famous Indo-Europeanists whose name I will not mention, then you can find it.

It helps that there's three main characters. Väinämöinen is pretty obviously first function, especially since you could draw parallels between him and Odin (I refuse to spell it Othinn). He's a magician, and at the end he's the king of something.

Lemminkäinen is a Heracles figure, and is thus second function, in that he uses strength to protect, where V. would use spells.

Finally, Ilmarinen the craftsman is third function - he creates the Sampa, which brings eternal wealth and all that.


There's problems, of course, partly because there's problems with the Kalevala - like Elias Lönnrot making some of it up, and the contamination (wrong word, but whatever) of the Finnish culture by others, Indo-European and non, and the fact that it's from the nineteenth century.

There's also that the heroes aren't gods, but I think, especially in light of the last story, which is a barely veiled version of the Christ story, than they are euhemerized, like Mebd and Fergus in the Táin. (although there are gods - they're just more like nature spirits.)

In any case, I don't think you can say that there's no tripartation in the Kalevala, which Dumézil does.
polutrope: (Default)
Ah, Boethius.
Happiness in Boethius? )

But enough of him.
Lucia di Lammermoor! )
And now for something completely different!
On Eugene Onegin and Romanticism )
And now, at 2:20, I shall start my Bio assignment.
polutrope: (Default)
So, I had my first experience of La forza del destino last night.
Why two work and one doesn't )
In sum, oh, Francesco, you used to be the one who didn't write terrible libretti! How could you do this to me?

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