Lies, Lyres, and Laughter: Surplus Potential in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes

TitleLies, Lyres, and Laughter: Surplus Potential in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBungard, C
Ancient AuthorsHymni Homerici Hymn. (TLG 0013)
JournalArethusa
Volume44
Issue2
Pagination143-165
Abstract

This paper seeks to reevaluate scholarly responses to the laughter in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes. Using Zupančič's recent work on comedy, I argue that Hermes intentionally exploits surplus potentials that emerge from splits in the perceived unity and completeness of Zeus's cosmos. Through surpluses (a tortoise-lyre, a baby cattle rustler, a baby master of legal speech), Hermes is able to attain his place among the Olympians. The laughter of the audience is one final expression of this acceptance of Hermes and his potential. [http://muse.jhu.edu/article/434068]

DOI10.1353/are.2011.0006

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