The Anger of Achilles: Menis in Greek Epic

Synopsis

Leonard Muellner's goal is to restore the Greek word for the anger of Achilles, menis, to its social, mythical, and poetic contexts. His point of departure is the anthropology of emotions. He believes that notions of anger vary between cultures and that the particular meaning of a word such as menis needs to emerge from a close study of Greek epic. Menis means more than an individual's emotional response. On the basis of the epic exemplifications of the word, Muellner defines the term as a cosmic sanction against behavior that violates the most basic rules of human society. To understand the way menis functions, Mueller stresses both the power and the danger that accrue to a person who violates such rules. Transgressive behavior has both a creative and a destructive aspect.

Additional information

Contributors:
Includes content by:
  • Gregory Nagy
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Ithaca, NY
Publication year:
  • 1996