Analysis Of The Poem ' The Judgement Of Paris ' And Greek Marriage Ritual

1922 Words Nov 17th, 2016 8 Pages
Helen’s “Judgement of Paris” and Greek Marriage Ritual in Sappho 16, an article written by Eric Dodson-Robinson from Johns Hopkins University, explores how Homer’s writings and Greek marriage rituals feed into the meaning of Sappho’s sixteenth fragment. Primarily through exploring the parallel roles of the characters in Sappho’s fragment and Homeric tales, Dodson-Robinson begins to decipher what is beautiful in Sappho’s eyes. Exploring the subjective role of Helen in the poem, the author reveals how abducting Helen could be a possible reference to archaic Greek marriage ritual. Ultimately, it concludes that the relationship between traditional judgment roles and desire are far more complex than it seems. Written By Ilja Leonard Pfeiffjer, “Shifting Helen: An Interpretation of Sappho, Fragment 16” focuses on how the reference to the story of Helen and Paris reveals the roles of Anactoria and Sappho in the poem. The shifting roles presented by the author in this article leads to conflicting arguments about whether Helen was the object or the “actant” in the story. This ambiguous role of Helen lead to the observations about Greek marriage rituals in the poem. Helen and Anactoria’s abduction mimic the emotions usually imparted in marriage rituals, which, in turn, make the poem’s themes of judgment, desire, and separation immediately available to the audience’s disposal. The complexity in Sappho’s sixteenth fragment lends itself to broad interpretations. Both Anne Carson and…

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