ODYSSEUS AND THE SONG OF ARES AND APHRODITE: MĒTIS AND MOICHEIA ON OLYMPUS AND ON EARTH
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Since antiquity, Hephaestus in the song of Ares and Aphrodite has been seen as a paradigm for Odysseus. Similarities have been noted between Odysseus’ dispute with Euryalus and Hephaestus’ capture of Ares, while the violence of the mnēstērophonia sequence has also been justified using the circumstances depicted in Demodocus’ song. This thesis examines these connections and finds that although Odysseus and Hephaestus are both figures of mētis, each episode that establishes Odysseus’ intellect also highlights his biā. While there are no lasting ramifications for adultery on Olympus, the Odyssey repeatedly emphasises the threat that unfaithful women pose in the realm of mortals, necessitating severe punishment for moicheia. The same offence that can be resolved through laughter on Olympus leads to the bloodshed of the mnēstērophonia in the world of Odysseus. The song of Ares and Aphrodite in this way highlights the sharp divide that exists between human and divine experiences.