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西方文學的源頭:. 時間 : c. 850 B.C.? 與 c. 750 B.C.? 地點 :地中海 (the Mediterranean Sea) 四周 民族 : the Greeks and the Jews 語言 : Hellenic ( 古希腊語 ) , Hebrew ( 古閃族語 ) 文類 : mythological ( 神話的 ) , religious ( 宗教的 ) 代表作 : the Homeric epics ( 荷馬的史詩 ) , The Bible ( 聖經 ). What is an epic ( 史詩 ) ?.

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  • 時間:c. 850 B.C.? 與 c. 750 B.C.?
  • 地點:地中海 (the Mediterranean Sea) 四周
  • 民族:the Greeks and the Jews
  • 語言:Hellenic (古希腊語),Hebrew (古閃族語)
  • 文類:mythological (神話的),religious (宗教的)
  • 代表作:the Homeric epics (荷馬的史詩),

The Bible (聖經)

what is an epic
What is an epic (史詩)?
  • It is an extended narrative poem, exalted in style and heroic in theme.

early or primary epics vs. literary epics

Epic conventions: invocation, in medias res (in the middle of things), hero’s notable deeds (descent into the underworld), etc.

E.g.:Iliad, Odyssey, Beowulf; Aeneid, Paradise Lost

homer s epics
荷馬的史詩 Homer’s Epics:
  • 作品:The Iliad (伊里亞德) &

The Odyssey (奧迪賽)

  • 內容:the Trojan War (c. 1200 B.C.)

Iliad: for Ilios (Troy) or for Helen

Odyssey:Odysseus’ homeward wanderings

  • 趣事:a. The Golden Apple: “To the fairest”

Peleus & Thetis, Eris (Discord)

Hera, Athena, Aphrodite

Zeus, Paris, Helen, Menelaus, Agamemnon

  • 趣事:b. Achilles’ Anger:

Agamemnon, Chryseis, Apollo

Briseis, Achilles, Patroclus,

Hector, Priam

  • c. The Escape from Sirens:

Odysseus and his men, the Sirens

Filling ears with beeswax, tying to the mast

  • d. The Chaste Penelope:

50 suitors, weaving a shroud,

Telemachus, Odysseus’ bow

the bible
聖經 (The Bible):
  • 包括: the Old Testament,

the New Testament (& the Apocrypha)

  • 舊約:共 39 Books (篇) in 6 groups (類)

written originally in Hebrew:

History, Prophetic Books, Lyric Poetry

Drama, Wisdom Literature, Tales

  • 故事:Genesis: the creation of the world and

man, the fall of Adam and Eve,

Noah’s flood, the Tower of Babel

the bible1
聖經 (The Bible):
  • Exodus: the escape by the Jews from their bondage in

Egypt, led by Moses, crossing the Red Sea,

wandering 40 years in the Sinai wilderness,

reaching Canaan.

  • “The Book of Job” (drama): the problem of evil.

Satan, God, Job, the Voice out of the Whirlwind

theodicy (神義論)

  • “Jonah and the Whale” (tale):

Jehovah wanted the prophet to preach in Nineveh.

Rebelliousness & selfishness;

universality & mercifulness of God.

二源 即 二元:
  • The Hellenic TraditionThe Hebraic Tradition


Mythological culture Religious culture

Polytheistic 多神 Monotheistic 單神

Humanism 人文主義Theism 神文主義

Hedonism 享樂 Asceticism 禁慾

For this world 今生 For the other world 來世

Secular life 世俗生話Divine life 神明生活

Id (抑德) & Ego (本我) Super-ego (超我)

  • 建築、雕刻:
  • 繪畫、音樂:
  • 戲劇、文學、電影:
  • 日常生活:
  • It’s a choice between Scylla and Charybdis.
  • We are David and Jonathan.