Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Obamus Achilleus versus Hillaria Hectorina

In following the Obama campaign, I often found pleasure in analysing the duel between him and his fierce and feral competitor by employing literary narratives: Obama as Desdemona, Obama as Prince Hal, Obama as Cyrano de Bergerac .

It pleases me that the face off between these two unusual candidates inspires others in the same way: analyzing the developing dynamics in terms of canonical literary narratives.

Maureen Dowd resorted to some classical tropes, here.

And today I stumbled upon this comment, here:

Bilbo Baggins:

I am not a fortune-teller, like the majority of “political analysts”, but a distant observer of this dramatic comedy that is playing before the eyes of the World. It reminds me the famous scene from Homer’s Iliad (Book 22): Achilles pursues Hector, but cannot run him down. Finally Achilles kills Hector, but thereafter Achilles was killed by Paris. So it is indifferent if Hillary or Obama dies now or later: they will both die (politically, naturally). But, as Hector says before his last fight: “Alas! the gods have lured me on to my destruction. … death is now indeed exceedingly near at hand and there is no way out of it … My doom has come upon me; let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter”. In this way I image Hillary. She is a true Warrior who doesn’t leave the battlefield without spreading death and terror amongst the enemies. These enemies, as it is easily to guess, are her ex-fellows Democrats that have elected Achilles-Obamus to their misfortune that waits them in the terrible form of the Gorgon Medusa.

And response in kind, here:


Dear Bilbo, in your comment you forget a very important detail: while “one in full flight, the other one pursuing him” (Hom. Il. XXII, 157), “all the gods looked on” (167). Who are these “gods” (in political sense)? If Achilles is Obamus and Hector is Hillary, the gods are Republicans and their Commander-in-Chief Zeus is John McCain.


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