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    Hegel, Homer, Heroism

    Desmond, William (2011) Hegel, Homer, Heroism. Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society (2011). ISSN 978-0-9565079-2-1

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    The genre of epic poetry finds a place within Hegel's aesthetics and taking Homer's Iliad as paradigmatic he analyzes epic in the triadic terms typical of his dialectic. This article surveys Hegel's diverse ideas on epic and Homer's Iliad in particular - ideas about the thematic unity of epic, its combination of cosmic breadth with vivid detail, its significant actions and passions, its fully rounded characters both human and divine, its heroes and heroic wars that exemplify the essence of the world-historical cultures that produced epic poems. Such ideas contribute to a systematic and often compelling whole, and this article offers some other detailed examples to bolster a Hegelian interpretation of the Iliad. On the other hand, aspects of the Iliad stoutly resist a Hegelian treatment and when Hegel at times envisions his philosophy of history as a kind of philosophical epic, one imagines that the poet of the Trojan War would have been unconvinced, given his own more somber treatment of anger, conflict, the death of loved ones, and the gods' immortality.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Hegel; Homer; Heroism;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > Ancient Classics
    Item ID: 4638
    Depositing User: Dr William Desmond
    Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2013 11:21
    Journal or Publication Title: Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society (2011)
    Publisher: Irish Philosophical Society
    Refereed: Yes

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