Theses Doctoral

Models of Reception in the Divine Audience of the Iliad

Myers, Tobias Anthony

The Iliad in certain key passages construes the Olympian gods as an internal epic audience offering and exploring multiple configurations of audience response to the poem. Chapter 1 explores the special features of the divine audience in general terms and considers previous scholarship. Chapter 2 reads Zeus' provocation of Hera and Athena in Book 4 as a "metaperformative" provocation of the poet's audience. Chapters 3 argues that the audience's mental "viewing" experience is construed as attendance at a live spectacle where the gods also attend, a spectacle for which the duel in Book 3 provides a paradigm. Chapter 4 interprets the duel in Book 7 as a reevaluation of that paradigm, motivated intratextually by the internal audience of Apollo and Athena. Chapter 5 shows that the climactic duel in Book 22, and especially the passage describing Hector and Achilles circling Troy as the gods watch and discuss, problematizes the ethical stance of the extratextual audience. Chapter 6 argues that in the Iliad as a whole the poet uses "the gods" to model a shift in audience sympathy from pro-Achaean bias to pity for the Trojans.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Steiner, Deborah T.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
June 27, 2011