Silent Witnesses

Cases of Audience Immersion in Sarpedon’s and Patroclus’ Death Scenes of “Iliad” 16

SEBASTIAAN GODEFRIDUS CLERCX (Freie Universität Berlin)

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Abstract: The vividness of Homer’s Iliad has been of interest of scholars from antiquity to modernity. Recently, Allan/De Jong/De Jonge (2017) have proposed immersion as a useful tool to analyze Homeric vividness. The present contribution analyzes Patroclus’ dying scene, contrasted with dying scenes of other characters, in particular Sarpedon’s, to show how immersion works in such passages. The paper will argue that the framework of immersion does not only help to understand enargetic scenes, but also those that were not evaluated as such in antiquity. Furthermore, it will argue that immersion also interacts with plot and aspects typical of the Homeric style.

About The Author: Bas Clercx studied classics, and Indo-European linguistics at Leiden University, the Netherlands. From 2016–2017, he collaborated in the research project “Scholarly Forgetting” at the Humboldt Universtät zu Berlin. Since April 2018, he is working on a dissertation within the theme of immersion and Latin literature.