Bakker, Egbert J. 2005. Pointing at the Past: From Formula to Performance in Homeric Poetics. Hellenic Studies Series 12. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_BakkerE_Pointing_at_the_Past.2005.
Chapter 5. The Poetics of Deixis
Near and Far
Young and Old
Deixis and Anaphora in Homeric Poetry
Λητοῦς καὶ Διὸς υἱός· ὁ γὰρ βασιλῆϊ χολωθεὶς
νοῦσον ἀνὰ στρατὸν ὦρσε κακήν, ὀλέκοντο δὲ λαοί,
The son of Zeus and Leto, for he, angered at the king,
he raised bad disease among the army, and the people perished
Dialogic Deixis in Characters’ Speech
λῆγ᾿ ἔριδος τὴν πρῶτον ἐπηπείλησ᾿ Ἀχιλῆϊ,
ἀλλ᾿ ὅ γε Ταλθύβιόν τε καὶ Εὐρυβάτην προσέειπε,
τώ οἱ ἔσαν κήρυκε καὶ ὀτρηρὼ θεράποντε·
did not put an end to the strife with which he had threatened Achilles in the beginning;
no, since he addressed Talthybios and Eurybates;
these two were his heralds and dedicated servants.
ὅς τις ὅδ᾿ ἐστὶν Ἀχαιὸς ἀνὴρ ἠΰς τε μέγας τε.
who this is, this Achaian man noble and tall.
πατρί τε σῷ Τελαμῶνι, ὅ σ᾿ ἔτρεφε τυτθὸν ἐόντα,
(. . .)
τὸν καὶ τηλόθ᾿ ἐόντα ἐϋκλείης ἐπίβησον.
and to Telamon your father, who/he nourished you when you were little (. . .),
set him on the path to glory, though he is far away.
This is Agamemnon addressing Teucer; with οὕτως he refers to Teucer’s actual shooting, which is taking place right before his eyes. The reference to Teucer’s old father Telamon, on the other hand, is done with τὸν, not τοῦτον: the old man is not present; he cannot be pointed at and has to be established in Agamemnon’s speech, so as to be an antecedent for subsequent anaphoric reference. We observe, then, that the pronoun of anaphoric reference is not at all barred from the discourse of characters; it can, in fact, be quite effective in what they want to say. Consider, for example, how Agamemnon refuses to give back Chryseis to her father:
The Poet, the Muse, and the Public
ὑμεῖς γὰρ θεαί ἐστε πάρεστέ τε ἴστέ τε πάντα,
ἡμεῖς δὲ κλέος οἶον ἀκούομεν οὐδέ τι ἴδμεν·
οἵ τινες ἡγεμόνες Δαναῶν καὶ κοίρανοι ἦσαν·
for you are goddesses and you are present, and have seen everything;
but we are hearing only the rumor of it and know nothing—
who the leaders and lords were of the Danaans.
ἀργαλέον δέ με ταῦτα θεὸν ὣς πάντ᾿ ἀγορεῦσαι·
πάντῃ γὰρ περὶ τεῖχος ὀρώρει θεσπιδαὲς πῦρ
Difficult it is for me to put, like a god, all these things into words,
for all around the wall the god-kindled fire had risen.
ἄρνας ποιμαίνονθ᾿ Ἑλικῶνος ὕπο ζαθέοιο.
τόνδε δέ με πρώτιστα θεαὶ πρὸς μῦθον ἔειπον,
Μοῦσαι Ὀλυμπιάδες, κοῦραι Διὸς αἰγιόχοιο·
when he was herding his sheep below most holy Helicon.
Me here the goddesses addressed at first a speech,
Olympian Muses, daughters of Zeus who holds the Aegis.
ἠδὲ καὶ ὡς τὰ πρῶτα πολύπτυχον ἔσχον Ὄλυμπον.
ταῦτά μοι ἔσπετε Μοῦσαι Ὀλύμπια δώματ᾿ ἔχουσαι
and how in the beginning they conquered many-valleyed Olympos,
sing me of those things, Muses who hold your Olympian dwellings.
μοῖραν ἐν ἀνθρώποισι καὶ ἀθανάτοισι θεοῖσι
share among men and immortal gods.
Ἕκτορι γάρ οἱ θυμὸς ἐβούλετο κῦδος ὀρέξαι.
for to Hektor his heart wanted rather to extend glory.
ἵπποισιν καὶ ὄχεσφιν ἀγαλλόμενος παρὰ νηῶν
ἂψ ἀπονοστήσειν προτὶ Ἴλιον ἠνεμόεσσαν·
indulging as he was in his horses and his chariot,
and to return from the ships back again to windy Ilion.
Indirect Speech and the Telos of the Odyssey
λυσιμελὴς ἐπόρουσε, λύων μελεδήματα θυμοῦ.
that loosens limbs sprang to him, releasing the anxieties from his spirit.
Spoken Thoughts, Thought Speech
Having spoken thus….
Just as in the case of direct speech, the anaphoric adverbial demonstrative ὥς is used, marking the speech as a performance pointing to the past.
ἢ γούνων λίσσοιτο λαβὼν εὐώπιδα κούρην,
ἦ αὔτως ἐπέεσσιν ἀποσταδὰ μειλιχίοισι
λίσσοιτ᾿, εἰ δείξειε πόλιν καὶ εἵματα δοίη.
ὣς ἄρα οἱ φρονέοντι δοάσσατο κέρδιον εἶναι,
λίσσεσθαι ἐπέεσσιν ἀποσταδὰ μειλιχίοισι,
whether clasping her knees to supplicate the fair-eyed girl,
or standing there from a distance with gentle words
to supplicate her, hoping she would show him the city, and give him clothing.
This way then as he was thinking it seemed most profitable to him,
to supplicate there from a distance with gentle words.
δίζε γὰρ ἠὲ μάχοιτο κατὰ κλόνον αὖτις ἐλάσσας,
ἦ λαοὺς ἐς τεῖχος ὁμοκλήσειεν ἀλῆναι.
ταῦτ᾿ ἄρα οἱ φρονέοντι παρίστατο Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων
and wondered whether he should drive back and fight in the carnage,
or call out to his people to assemble inside the wall.
As he was pondering these things Phoibos Apollo came and stood by him.
στήθεσσιν λασίοισι διάνδιχα μερμήριξεν,
ἢ ὅ γε φάσγανον ὀξὺ ἐρυσσάμενος παρὰ μηροῦ
τοὺς μὲν ἀναστήσειεν, ὁ δ᾿ Ἀτρεΐδην ἐναρίζοι,
ἦε χόλον παύσειεν ἐρητύσειέ τε θυμόν.
ἧος ὁ ταῦθ᾿ ὥρμαινε κατὰ φρένα καὶ κατὰ θυμόν,
ἕλκετο δ᾿ ἐκ κολεοῖο μέγα ξίφος, ἦλθε δ᾿ Ἀθήνη . . .
within his shaggy breast pondered in two separate ways,
whether he should draw his sharp sword from beside his thigh,
make all of them stand up, and kill the son of Atreus,
or else put and end to anger and restrain his spirit.
As he considered these things in his mind and in his spirit,
and started drawing from its scabbard his mighty sword, Athene descended
When he considered these things in his mind and in his spirit
and deeply annoyed he spoke to his own great-hearted spirit