- 西洋古典論集 (ISSN:02897113)
- vol.7, pp.1-22, 1990-05-31
この論文は国立情報学研究所の学術雑誌公開支援事業により電子化されました。The Polyphemus story in the Odyssey is based on a popular folktale, wide-spread throughout the world. Since the time of Wilhelm Grimm, more and more versions of this folk-tale have been collected and various elements of the Homeric version have been analyzed by many scholars. Some parts of the Homeric version correspond with the folk-tales and illustrat ions in Greek art, while others differ. So, a comparative study of Homer's story with other versions will suggest what Homer borrowed and what he invented. The Homeric version consists of three main episodes (the blinding of the ogre ; the name-trick ; and the escape of the hero), and omits apparently the motif of the magic ring. Each episode contains a variety of incidents, but here I shall consider only four of these. They are amusing in themselves and also illustrate Homer's art of story-telling. I have used O. Hackman's and J. G. Frazer's collections of folk-tales as the basis for my study. 1. The inebriation of Polyphemus, In some folk-tale versions, the giant gets drunk with his own wine. Polyphemus, however, drinks not wine but milk and is made drunk by the marvellous wine given to him by Odysseus. Perhaps Homer changed the drunken ogre into a milk-drinker and invented Odysseus' offering of wine to Polyphemus to introduce the gruesome present from Polyphemus and the name-trick of Odysseus. 2. The method of escape. The commonest method of escape in the folk-tales is for the heroes to cover themselves with an animal skin and to crawl out of the cave. Odysseus and his companions, however, escaped--Odysseus clinging to the belly of one ram ; his companions each tied to three rams. There has been much speculation about the reason why Homer did not follow the usual method. I think that Homer chose his version for the sake of variation and contrast, with the episode of the Seirenes in mind. When Odysseus sailed past the Seirenes' island, he alone was tied to the mast, in contrast to the escape from Polyphemus when only Odysseus was not tied to a ram. Thisuse of variation and contrast is found in many other episodes. 3. The motif of the magic ring. Many folk-take versions end with the episode of the talking ring or other magic objects. After the hero has escaped from the cave, he mocks the giant, who throws down a ring as a gift to the victor. The moment he puts it on his finger, it cries out, 'Here I am!', and guides the blinded giant to him. The hero escapes only by cutting off his finger. While A. B. Cook, D. L. Page and C. S. Brown have attempted to find the traces or transformations of this motif in the Odyssean story. A. Kurumisawa argues that the Homeric version cannot include the ring motif. Considering the difference between epic and folk-tale, I am inclined toagree with the former theory. 4. The origin of the name 'Utis'. According to Hackman, the trick with the name 'Utis' ('No body') does not belong to the Polyphemus story but is borrowed from another popular folk-tale. in which a human being outwits a fairy or a demon with the deceptive name, 'Myself '. The name 'Utis' seldom occurs in genuine folk-tales. I am not convinced by the argument that 'Utis' is not a false name but a nickname derived from Etruscan forms of Odysseus or the word 'us' (ear). It seems more likely that Homer borrowed the idea of the name-trick from some unrelated folk-tale and invented 'Utis' for his story. He appreciated that the main point of the folk-tale was the giant's defeat by a little man and devised an appropriate name for the little hero. 'Utis' means 'Nobody' or 'Worthless One', but the 'Worthless One' conquers the mighty giant. Polyphemus (Much Famed). If Homer invented Odysseus' offering of wine to Polyphemus, it is probable that he also invented the name 'Utis'.