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Friend, Foe, or Other? Monsters and Identity on the Odyssean Sea

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9778

Friend, Foe, or Other? Monsters and Identity on the Odyssean Sea

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Title: Friend, Foe, or Other? Monsters and Identity on the Odyssean Sea
Author: Bellum, Daniel
Advisor(s): Smith, Warren
Committee Member(s): Cyrino, Monica
Garcia, Lorenzo Jr
Department: Foreign Languages and Literature
Subject: monsters
Odyssey
postcolonial
cultural identity
Homer
Proteus
Leukothea
Nausikaa
Odysseus
Degree Level: Masters
Abstract: The sea upon which Odysseus wanders in Homer's Odyssey is a chaotic and unpredictable place, empty of historical non-Greek cultures, but full of sea creatures, monsters, and deities eager to ensnare and devour the long-suffering hero. However, the Mediterranean of the Archaic Age that produced the Odyssey was a well-charted sea, where Greeks frequently interacted with foreigners. This thesis approaches the sea in the Odyssey as a mythic borderland, a medium for conceptualized representations of actual intercultural exchanges between archaic Greeks and other cultures of the ancient Mediterranean. Further, using postcolonial theory, this study attempts to understand how the various maritime oddities within the Odyssey give form to the trauma and cultural ambiguity inherent in ancient sea travel. Finally, this thesis explores how Odysseus successfully adapts his own identity to cope with the sea's chaotic landscape, allowing the poem's ancient audience to mediate their own troubling experiences.
Graduation Date: July 2009
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9778


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