In this exciting interpretation of the Odyssey, the late renowned scholar Seth Benardete suggests that Homer may have been the first to philosophize in a Platonic sense. He argues that the Odyssey concerns precisely the relation between philosophy and poetry and, more broadly, the rational and the irrational in human beings. In light of this possibility, Bernardete works back and forth from Homer to Plato to examine the relation between wisdom and justice and tries to recover an original understanding of philosophy that Plato, too, recovered by reflecting on the wisdom of the poet. At stake in his argument is no less than the history of philosophy and the ancient understanding of poetry. The Bow and the Lyre is a book that every classicist and historian of philosophy should have.
Seth Benardete was professor of classics at New York University. He was the author of The Being of the Beautiful, The Rhetoric of Morality and Philosophy, Socrates' Second Sailing, and The Tragedy and Comedy of Life.
Chapter 1 Notice to the Reader Chapter 2 Preface Part 3 Part I: The Beginnings Chapter 4 Theodicy Chapter 5 Politics Chapter 6 Telemachus Part 7 Part II: Pattern and Will Chapter 8 Nestor Chapter 9 Helen and Menelaus Part 10 Part III: Odysseus' Choice Part 11 Part IV: Among the Phaeacians Chapter 12 Shame Chapter 13 Paradise Chapter 14 Pride Part 15 Part V: Odysseu' Own Story Chapter 16 Memory and Mind Chapter 17 Nature Chapter 18 Hades Chapter 19 Destiny Part 20 Part VI: Odysseus' Lies Part 21 Part VII: Nonfated Things Chapter 22 Theoclymenus and Eumaeus Chapter 23 The Slave Girls Chapter 24 The Name and the Scar Part 25 Part VIII: The Suitors and the City Chapter 26 The Suitors Chapter 27 The City Part 28 Part IX: Recognition Chapter 29 Penelope Chapter 30 Hades Chapter 31 Laertes Chapter 32 Notes Chapter 33 Index