Narrative and rhetoric in Odysseus' tales to the phaeacians

Marianne Hopman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


As Odysseus cautiously prepares to enter the straits plagued by Charybdis and Scylla, he encourages his crew by referring to his earlier success against the Cyclops (Od. 12.208-12). This article argues that the Odyssey constructs the Scylla adventure as a tale of heroic failure in contrast with the Cyclops episode. Special attention is paid to narrative paradigms that underlie the Scylla episode and emphasize Odysseus' inability to defeat the monster. I further show that the Cyclops/Scylla contrast serves both as an argument presented to Odysseus' internal Phaeacian audience and an interpretive key for the external audience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalAmerican Journal of Philology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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