Category Archives: Homer

The Return of King James

Lebron’s return to Cleveland is like Odysseus’ return to Ithaka.

Posted in Homer | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Warning Labels for the Classics

Suggestions that certain classics come with “trigger warnings” leads of the following reflection.

Also posted in Chaucer (Geoffrey), Milton (John), Sir Gawain Poet, Sophocles, Wilde (Oscar) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Competing Heroic Narratives in Super Bowl

One Super Bowl narrative: Manning as the return of the king. Another narrative: Manning as Laius blocking the way of the next generation. Plus: Belichick-Welker in Oedipal drama.

Also posted in Sophocles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zeus Predicts that Broncos Will Win

A passage in the Odyssey forecasts that Peyton Manning will win the Super Bowl.

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JFK as Ancient Greek Hero

Ancient Greek literature provides us with a power lens through which to examine the John F. Kennedy assassination.

Also posted in Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Manning vs. Brady, Hector vs. Achilles

Once again Manning and Brady square off, reminding us of Achilles and Hector.

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Needed in Congress: A Deus Ex Machina

If Boehner channeled the spirit of Athena in “The Odyssey,” he could reopen the government tomorrow.

Also posted in Euripides | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lebron Explodes for Epic Performance

Lebron’s third quarter explosion against Indiana on Thursday night was Homeric.

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The Iliad and Higher Ed’s MOOCish Future

MOOCs–Massive Open On-line Courses–can never teach lit as well as small classes.

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Antigone Would Bury Boston Bomber

Sophocles and Homer present compelling cases for granting full funeral rights to the Boston Marathon bomber.

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Will Kevin Durant Suffer Akhilleus’s Fate?

Kevin Durant is like Akhilleus. In more ways than one.

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NFL Rookie QBs and Mac the Knife

RGIII, Russell Wilson, and Andrew Luck are escape artists in the mode of Mac the Knife.

Also posted in Gay (John), Harris (Joel Chandler), St. Vincent Millay (Edna) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pinning Down Protean Politicians

In his evasiveness and malleability, Romney resembles the Greek sea god Proteus.

Posted in Homer | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Sons Must Kill Their Fathers, Alas

There’s is no easy way for son’s to find their identities apart from their fathers, but they have no choice but to try.

Also posted in Diderot (Denis), Shakespeare (William), Stendahl | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crowd Intoxication and the Call of the Gods

Athena visiting Odysseus at a critical point in battle represents the sort of intuitive decisions that we associate with great athletes and geniuses.

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Spain’s Tiger Burning Less Bright

Did the god that made the elegant strokes of Roger Federer also make the bruising style of Nadal? Like William Blake gazing at the lamb and the tiger in “Tyger, Tyger,” we can only shake our heads bemused.

Also posted in Blake (William) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

James as Telemachus to Wade’s Odysseus

Lebron James is not the king but the sidekick, not Michael Jordan but Scottie Pippen. In literary terms, he is not King Odysseus but Prince Telemachus. His teammate Dwyane Wade is the king of the franchise.

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Bulls vs. Heat, a Homeric Battle

I designate the Miami Heat as the Greeks in Homer’s Iliad. After all, they represent a kind of dream team, kings from different city states coming together to seek glory. The Bulls are like the Trojans in that they have only one top-tier fighter. Derrick Bell is their Hector.

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Judge Doty in the Role of Deus ex Machina

Sports Saturday Negotiations between the National Football League owners and the Players Association were at an impasse. The owners locking out the players seemed all but inevitable, along with suspension of the 2011 season.  Then the goddess Athena stepped in.  Taking the form of U.S. District Judge David Doty, she ordered the two sides to […]

Also posted in Beowulf Poet | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Rogers No Longer in Odysseus’ Shadow

Sports Saturday Something memorable occurred last Sunday in Dallas in addition to the Green Bay Packers bringing “Vince Lombardi home” in their Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Quarterback Aaron Rogers stepped out of the shadow of a legend. The literary equivalent that comes to mind is Homer’s Telemachus, but Rogers is Telemachus with […]

Also posted in Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Analyzing Loughner’s Booklist

Like much of America, I am still in a state of shock over Saturday’s shooting of a Congresswoman, a judge, and 16 others. Like many I wonder if this was an example of a disturbed mind encountering the inflamed political rhetoric that has come to characterize American political discourse. (Add Arizona’s permissive gun laws into […]

Also posted in Aesop, Barrie (J. M.), Baum (L. Frank), Bradbury (Ray), Bukowski (Charles), Carroll (Lewis), Hemingway (Ernest), Hesse (Hermann), Hitler (Adolph), Huxley (Aldous), Juster (Norton(, Kesey (Ken), Lee (Harper), Marx (Karl), Orwell (George), Plato, Rand (Ayn) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Manning vs. Brady, Hector vs. Achilles

Sports Saturday Tomorrow will witness the fiercest rivalry in American football—and maybe in American sports—as Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts travels to Boston to play against Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. Many are beginning to believe that football has never seen a quarterback rivalry that matches this one. Which of the two […]

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Real Men Play Football AND Read Poetry

Sports Saturday Professional football is a super violent sport and its 16-game season is a war of attrition. One never knows, from one week to the next, what team will have its Super Bowl hopes derailed by critical injuries. For a while this year, everyone was certain that the NFC would send either the New […]

Also posted in Browning (Robert), Cather (Willa), Tennyson (Alfred Lord) | Tagged , , | Comments closed

The Magic World of Children’s Lit

William Kristof, the much traveled Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times, wrote recently about the disturbing way that children’s IQ scores often drop over summer vacation. The cause is lack of intellectual stimulation. The problem is more severe with poor than it is with middle class kids. As an antidote, Kristof offered […]

Also posted in Berna (Paul), Burnett (Francis Hodgson), Carroll (Lewis), Day-Lewis (Cecil), Doyle (Arthur Conan), Dumas (Alexander), Kipling (Rudyard), Lewis (C. S.), MacDonald (George), Milne (A. A.), Nesbitt (E.), Orczy (The Baroness Emmuska), Tolkien (J.R.R.), Verne (Jules), White (T.H.) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

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