This is an exciting and original study on the poetic significance of formal repetition in Homer. The author argues that localization, metre, and verse-structure are regularly used as semantic markers, providing certain words with a "meaning" that extends beyond their immediate context. This meaning often interacts with context-specific semantic features, creating a discourse that is replete with ambiguity, ambivalence, irony, and allusion. The discussion draws on
recent approaches in linguistics and literary criticism, including narratology, pragmatics, socio-linguistics, discourse analysis, and speech-act theory, but lays emphasis on the primary text as an object of study. The author shows how Homer's polysemic texture contributes to the presentation of
key literary topics such as the image of the hero in the Iliad or disguise and recognition in the Odyssey.
`This is an exciting performance-orientated interpretation. There is no space here to do justice to the fascinating results of the analyses. Kahane shows in this important study how a sensitivity to metrical and word-placement patterns can bring out delicate shades of meaning in the Homeric poems.'
Greece and Rome