Title

Palamedes

Date of Award

Spring 4-27-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Murray Brown

Second Advisor

Stephen Dobranski

Third Advisor

Christopher Kocela

Fourth Advisor

Scott Lightsey

Abstract

This thesis offers a syncretic, synoptic account of Palamedes from the Trojan War. It delineates three interpretive modes: (1) that Palamedes was present all along; (2) that later poets inserted him into the Trojan narrative, either as an archetypal intellectual figure, or as Odysseus’s double; (3) that Palamedes was present only as Odysseus’s imaginary Doppelgänger. The thesis accounts for Palamedes’s scarce attention in classical texts by way of Lacanian and—via Otto Rank—Freudian psychoanalytic theory, as well as by Slavoj Žižek’s adoption of the “vanishing mediator.” After tracing a potential textual genealogy from Palamedes to Malory’s Palomydes, the thesis concludes with a reading of Palamedes’s implied presence in Inferno 26.

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