Homer's Secrecy Motif in Mark?
JFAlward at aol.com
JFAlward at aol.com
Fri Aug 31 01:17:11 EDT 2001
I will have to toss my hat in the ring with Dennis on this one. First of
all the secrecy motif in the Odyssey is far more involved than a single
incident i.e. the rejuvenation of Odysseus. It is clear that Odysseus
remain incognito from the moment he wakes up on Ithaca. And like Jesus
there are points when people seem to be obtuse like the disciples in Mark.
example the archery contest, where Odysseus strings the bow and shoots
through the ax handles. One would expect that someone would have taking the
clue that this was indeed the Master of the house come home. >>
The disciples indeed seemed clueless and incapable of recognizing Jesus'
divinity, even after witnessing Jesus do things that only a god could do.
However, unless you can show me where Homer gave the residents of Ithaca
reason to believe that Odysseus would return with god-like powers, I'll be
inclined to believe that the secrecy motifs are just coincidental.
Joe, I don't see why one needs to have anyone believe that Odysseus would
return with god-like powers for the motif to be borrowed. Indeed, virtually
all imitations of the scene in antiquity are of mortals (as in the novels).
But as a matter of fact, three aspects of the Odyssey do relate him to the
role of a deity: his returning from the netherworld like a punishing fury,
his being transformed into a beggar by a goddess who had just disguised
herself to appear to Odysseus, and the statement of one of the suitors
asking if Odysseus might not be a god in disguise! How's that!
There are conditions other than the one I stated above which I would wish to
be met before I accepted that Mark probably had Odysseus in mind when he told
his story about Jesus. My comments above were narrowly tailored to address
Rick Richmond's belief that the archery display was the intended parallel of,
say, the healings or the twin feedings. I was arguing that in order for the
witnesses to the archer's miracle shots to be the parallel to Mark's "obtuse"
disciples, as Rick put it, the former would have to have had an expectation
that Odysseus might be returning with god-like powers. Homer gives no
indication that these witnesses wondered if Odysseus was among them as a god
in disguise. In the absence of such an expectation, the witnesses can't be
faulted like the disciples for not recognizing the "master of the house," and
so there seems to be no evidence of a secrecy parallel, at least here.
More information about the GMark