By Tracey L. Walters (auth.)
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Extra info for African American Literature and the Classicist Tradition: Black Women Writers from Wheatley to Morrison
Gantz believes that Homer’s story was modified to underscore Achilles’ analogy. He also argues that it is unlikely that the gods would bury Niobe’s children, and he claims there are inconsistencies about the number of children that were killed. While Homer mentions that twelve children were killed, other sources say Niobe had more children. Gantz maintains that Hesiod records ten of each, Mimnermus lists twenty in total, Sappho nine of each, and Aischylos, Sophocles, and Euripides list seven boys and seven girls (537).
Gantz says that pre-Euripides stories from the Archaic period offer two versions of Medea’s story, “one in which Medeia inadvertently kills her children, the other in which the Korinthians do it deliberately. To these Euripides would then add as a third possibility the slaying of them by their mother for revenge on Iason” (369–70). The scholia to Euripides, according to Gantz, maintains that the Corinthians kill Medea’s children because they resent the fact that she is a foreign queen and they distrust her knowledge of witchcraft.
H. Lawrence, to Hilda Doolittle, Gwendolyn 26 AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE AND THE CLASSICIST TRADITION Brooks, and Toni Morrison, have recast the Persephone and Demeter myth. A comparative reading of ancient versions alongside the modern adaptations by Brooks, Morrison, and Dove illustrate that the writers make subtle and overt allusions to versions of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and the Orphic texts. In Brooks’ In the Mecca, for example, as in the Orphic myth, Ms. Sallie ventures deep into the depths of hell where she discovers Pepita.
African American Literature and the Classicist Tradition: Black Women Writers from Wheatley to Morrison by Tracey L. Walters (auth.)