The senders of the Heroides are constantly concerned about the reputation of the heroes, and their own: Ovid’s love letters to mythical addressees are also open letters on the literary history of those myths. Female marginality here becomes a powerful instrument of alternative criticism, an antagonistic perspective from which to look at the official celebrations of heroes. In the epistles, the unchallenged voice of the heroines is all but immune to the author’s irony; and yet, in Ovid’s subsequent works the heroine’s word often becomes the author’s word. The sharp point of view, external to the logic and rhetoric of eulogy, which is often the female optic, proves an effective lens through which to look at the world of myth: it will be adopted by the praeceptor amoris in Ars 3, as well as by the epic narrator in the Metamorphoses, where the greatest heroes are faced with their failures, and with versions of their stories less politically correct than the authorised ones. Through the voice of their women, the two national heroes of Athens and Rome, Theseus and Aeneas, and the protagonists of the two Homeric poems, Achilles and Ulysses, make a less than impeccable impression, as they will in the Metamorphoses: elegy in the feminine is a poetic laboratory for the relativism of Ovid’s epic. The heroines display a critical consciousness equal to that of their author: in the epistolary writing, from an elegiac and female perspec¬tive, they redesign their own profile, and that of the heroes, in their entire literary existence.

Storie di eroi, scrittura di eroine. Storia e critica letteraria nelle Heroides

Federica Bessone
2018

Abstract

The senders of the Heroides are constantly concerned about the reputation of the heroes, and their own: Ovid’s love letters to mythical addressees are also open letters on the literary history of those myths. Female marginality here becomes a powerful instrument of alternative criticism, an antagonistic perspective from which to look at the official celebrations of heroes. In the epistles, the unchallenged voice of the heroines is all but immune to the author’s irony; and yet, in Ovid’s subsequent works the heroine’s word often becomes the author’s word. The sharp point of view, external to the logic and rhetoric of eulogy, which is often the female optic, proves an effective lens through which to look at the world of myth: it will be adopted by the praeceptor amoris in Ars 3, as well as by the epic narrator in the Metamorphoses, where the greatest heroes are faced with their failures, and with versions of their stories less politically correct than the authorised ones. Through the voice of their women, the two national heroes of Athens and Rome, Theseus and Aeneas, and the protagonists of the two Homeric poems, Achilles and Ulysses, make a less than impeccable impression, as they will in the Metamorphoses: elegy in the feminine is a poetic laboratory for the relativism of Ovid’s epic. The heroines display a critical consciousness equal to that of their author: in the epistolary writing, from an elegiac and female perspec¬tive, they redesign their own profile, and that of the heroes, in their entire literary existence.
Ovidio 2017. Prospettive per il terzo millennio, Convegno internazionale, Sulmona 3-6 aprile 2017
Sulmona
3-6 aprile 2017
Ovidio 2017. Prospettive per il terzo millennio, Atti del Convegno internazionale (Sulmona 3/6 aprile 2017)
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Federica Bessone
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1661260
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