Analysis Of Argos By Michael Collier

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“Argos” by Michael Collier is a poem that alludes to one of the major epics of Homer, The Odyssey. The poem makes clever use of the imagery to focus on one of the events in the epic that it believes is often overlooked by most readers, which is the brief yet heart-breaking encounter between the Greek hero Odysseus and his faithful dog Argos. The choice of persona is also important because it helps in explaining the didactic tone of the poem. This paper will analyze “Argos” by examining how the relationship between Odysseus and Argos is presented in a new light but will later focus on how the persona/addressee serves as a guide in forming an understanding and interpretation of the poem.

One does not necessarily need to know the story of The
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However, the poem paints their relationship in a new light by focusing on the recognition scene between the two. Gainsford describes the context in which this scene has significance as “an unmediated recognition without the vagaries of speech” (57). Unlike the other human relationships of Odysseus, which are “mediated” literally by language and by their recognition of him, the recognition scene of Argos is the most striking and memorable because there are no words exchanged between them. The imagery used to describe how Argos welcomes Odysseus (Argos as poor and malnourished, but despite his state still has enough strength to wag his tail in delight), also touches on the senses and emotions of the reader. Between Odysseus and Argos, there is no need for mediation because there has never been anything coming between them-not language (at least, not literally) and not …show more content…
“Argos” is a good example of contemporary poetry, because aside from the poem providing a fresh and modern perspective on an old tale, it also extends itself to the reader through instruction or through teaching. In the poem, we can assume that the persona is a teacher and the “you” that he refers to are students. If we take the literal meaning, the persona could mean that The Odyssey has become a standard text for students. Knowing that they will be tested for major events in the book, they fail to pay attention to the small yet significant scenes that lend great meaning to the overall understanding and appreciation of the text, which in the case of the poem is the recognition scene between Argos and Odysseus. As the poem recalls, they might have failed to notice the tear shed by Odysseus for Argos, showing the humane side of Odysseus instead of the side that is bent on

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