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Justin Arft

Justin ArftAssistant Professor
Department of Classics
Ph.D., University of Missouri
Project: The Queen and Her Question: Arete and the Odyssey’s Construction of Odysseus

The Queen and Her Question argues that Arete, the queen of the Phaeacians in Homer’s Odyssey, plays a critical role in the plot and construction of the epic despite her being an undervalued or misinterpreted figure in Homeric scholarship. Given that the Homeric audience knew many versions of Odysseus, Arete signals the very process by which the Odyssey constructs a distinct presentation of its hero, allowing a reconsideration of the recognition scenes that characterize the latter half of the poem. By focusing on the structures and themes surrounding this figure, The Queen and Her Question sheds light on the compositional poetics of Homer and especially the epic’s relationship to its tradition and audience.

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