Mimetic Theory, Sacrifice, and The Iliad?

Authors

  • Margo Kitts Hawai'i Pacific University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/bsor.v45i3-4.31345

Keywords:

Girard, mimesis, violence, Homeric sacrifice, poetics, Iliad

Abstract

This essay strives to apply Girard’s mimetic theory to Homeric sacrifice scenes, poetic characterizations, and the plot of the Iliad. The theory is found to be wanting at the level of sacrifice scenes, and barely salient at the levels of poetic characterization and plot. On the whole, Girard’s theory of sacrifice is anachronistic for the Iliad, and the Iliad’s poetic characterizations, particularly of Achilles, defy the lack of interiority presumed by Girard’s mimetic theory. However, Girard’s discussion of our fascination with violence does resonate with the Homeric Weltanschauung, as well as with persistent themes in ancient Near Eastern literature and art.

Author Biography

Margo Kitts, Hawai'i Pacific University

Margo Kitts is Professor of Humanities and Coordinator of Religious Studies and East-West Classical Studies at Hawai'i Pacific University in Honolulu.

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Published

2016-10-27

How to Cite

Kitts, M. (2016). Mimetic Theory, Sacrifice, and The Iliad?. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 45(3-4), 46–57. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsor.v45i3-4.31345

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