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WikiOmeros: Epic Tradition


two parties, one Greek and the other Trojan,/both fighting for Helen (2.XX.ii).

One of the frequent allusions to the Trojan War, with 'Helen' here both evoking Helen of Troy and referring to St Lucia.

recognition (3.XXXII.i).

Recognition is a key theme of Homer’s Odyssey.

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.

Charing Cross (1.XXXVIII.i).

Charing Cross is an interesting choice of underground station. For one, it is close to both Trafalgar Square (a symbol of England's old empire and its nationalism) and the National Gallery (which houses many great works of art from the history of the Western world), which the narrator goes on to visit. The underground system itself fits with the feeling of the chapter that London, whilst having a gorgeous, historical exterior, has a dirtier, polluted underbelly. Also, it means that the narrator must emerge into the light from underground which has many symbolic possibilities.

archipelago (3.XXXI.iii).

The word has two meanings:  1. a sea, or large expanse of water, in which there are many islands, and, by extension, a group or chain of islands; 2. the Ægean Sea (Bib:OED). The second meaning continues to link the poem to the Epic Tradition.