Hidden Women and Authorial Commentary: The Poetics of the Pause in Ancient Underworld Scenes
This paper discusses the Underworld scene in ancient Greco-Roman epic as a “forced break.” In this presentation, I argue that Underworld scenes pause a narrative to make space for authorial commentary and metatextual communication between author and audience. I further argue that women’s stories appearing in such scenes are crucial in the construction of heroic identities. These ghostly women contextualize the heroes’ own stories and allow the audience to witness the effects of heroes’ past choices.
Department of Classics
Columbia University, NY
Friday, March 12, 2021
4:10 – 6:00 PM