Forms of Astonishment: Greek Myths of Metamorphosis

Forms of Astonishment: Greek Myths of Metamorphosis

by Richard Buxton


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In this illustrated study, Richard Buxton analyzes Greek literary narratives and visual representations of the metamorphosis of humans and gods, as evidenced from Homer to Nonnos. Such tales have become familiar in their Ovidian dress, as in the best-selling translation by Ted Hughes; Buxton explores their Greek antecedents. He investigates such issues as: how do different contexts shape the way in which metamorphosis is narrated? How do the assumptions of commentators about "strangeness" affect how metamorphosis is interpreted? How far should an interpreter allow "contextual charity" to render more acceptable a belief such as that in metamorphosis? What are the implications of the notions of 'astonishment' (Greek: thambos) in a range of narratives about transformation?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198706991
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 01/02/2018
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Richard Buxton is Emeritus Professor of Greek Language and Literature at the University of Bristol.

Table of Contents

1. Narratives and Their Contexts
1. The Odyssey
2. Athenian Drama
3. Visual Arts
4. Hellenistic Transformations
5. Post-Hellenistic Narratives
2. The Logic of Transformation
6. Shapes of the Gods
7. The Human Aetiology of Landscape
8. Plants, Trees, and Human Form
9. Challenges to the Metamorphic Tradition
10. Final Thoughts on Contexts

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