The expression of sarcasm in the odyssey

Elizabeth Minchin*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    I begin with a survey of relevant literature on sarcastic talk as it occurs in the anglophone world today. Having developed a 'view' of sarcasm in this contemporary world, I turn to the expression of sarcasm in Homer. My examination of the spoken exchanges in the second half of the Odyssey reveals many features in common with sarcastic talk in the contemporary world. I go on to demonstrate that the poet has used sarcastic talk to shape character, to establish mood, and, above all, to give structure to the scenes which bring together Odysseus and the suitors in the palace on Ithaka.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)533-556
    Number of pages24
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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