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WikiOmeros: Characters

WikiOmeros

His cripple (2.XX.ii).

Possibly a reference to Caliban, Prospero's slave in Shakespeare's The Tempest. Minkler (1993) discusses other allusions to the play in Omeros (see Critical Bibliography).

minnow (2.XXXII.iii).

A minnow is a small freshwater fish (Bib:CALD), suggesting here the size of the plane in the distance and specifically in a term familiar to a fisherman, like Achille, whose viewpoint is given here.

I felt transported,/… to a place I had lost/…//It was another country (2.XXXII.ii).

This refers to the theme of 'uprootedness', a reminder that nobody on the island is an original inhabitant; everyone is displaced and not at home. The verb 'transported' also echoes the noun 'transport', the term used for Hector's vehicle, the Comet, which symbolises his exchange of the traditional St Lucian values for a modern Westernised lifestyle.

my mother (3.XXXII.i).

Walcott's mother, Alix, is never named in the text, although his father, Warwick, is named three times: in 1.XII.i, where the Narrator converses with his father's ghost, first in Warwick’s his own words and later in words that might be Warwick's or the Narrator's, and again in 3.XXXII.i, in his mother's words.

she fought her//memory (3.XXXII.i).

Memory is a key element of classical epic, since the poems are intended as commemorations of past figures and events. In Omeros, characters, such as Achille and Dennis Plunkett, have a longing for communion with the past. Memory brings in the theme of nostalgia and the journey that the characters take in order to find their identity and feeling of home. Memory is also important in the Odyssey, and the loss of it threatens Odysseus from returning home.