Homeric Question Essay Questions

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To most scholars, Homer is a familiar name, typically associated with two epic poems from ancient Greece: the Iliad and the Odyssey. But Homer is also, to many scholars, a mystery. The Homeric Question is the name of a group of questions that have been around for nearly two centuries. These questions surround the history of Homer (who he is, when he was alive, where he may have lived) and the origins of the poems associated with him (how were they originally composed, and whether both poems were conceived by the same poet). While there are many biographies written about Homer, none of them are based on facts. This shows that even in ancient times there were debates about from where, and when, he came. The debate of how the poems were composed have been greeted by many theories. The first of these theories are known as the nucleus theory and the lay theory. The nucleus theory suggested that each of the epic poems had grown from a…show more content…
Many scholars agree that the epics are united. They also agree that both poems were not composed by the same poet. The theory is that the poems could not have been several shorter poems that were all just put together. The story was well organised, the work of only one author, though the epic might have been based off other poems that the author knew. But this does not mean that both poems were entirely a singular poet’s work; insertions could have been made by other poets. While the stories themselves differ vastly, the true argument against the theory of singular poet lies in the language and perspective. The differences in language are only noted when the epics are closely analysed, but the differences in perspective are more prominent. These perspectives are especially seen in the ethics, beliefs and knowledge of the poets. Certain passages in the Iliad may look very similar to passages that are in the Odyssey—but this could mean that the author of the Odyssey was merely a

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