Comments on an Essay: Pietro Pucci’s Banter and Banquets for Heroic Death

Winds & Waves

For my senior thesis project, I have decided that I will probably be focusing on the role of food, feasting, and memory in the Odyssey, although exactly where I am going with this idea is still to be determined. To get me started, my thesis advisor recommended several sources, including an essay entitled Banter and Banquets for Heroic Death by Pietro Pucci from his book The Song of the Sirens: Essays on Homer because of its possible connection to my topic.

It focuses on the Iliad, not the Odyssey, but what it says about banquets may still be useful to me. The main argument of the essay, as far as I understood it, is that the Iliad is a self-reflective text that points to the inherent instability of the kleos, or fame/rumor, which is represented by the very genre of epic poetry of which the Iliad itself is a…

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