A cross-reading of Odysseus' journeys in The Battle of the Frogs and Mice : Psicharpax's anti-odyssean portrait

Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2010, vol. 15, iss. 2, pp. [43]-50
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
License: Not specified license
The warfare described in The Battle of the Frogs and Mice (ancient Greek poem of uncertain authorship and dating which we know to have been used as a school text in the Byzantine period) is commonly read as a parody of the Iliad, because it imitates by parody the warfare between Achaeans and Trojans warriors. However, an analytical reading allows us to conclude the existence of another argument besides the one related with war: the argument of the journeys, specifically the journeys of Odysseus celebrated by Homer in the Odyssey. In my paper I intent to analyze on how the journeys of Odysseus intersect this mock-heroic universe, and on how they are adulterated and transmuted through parodic imitation, remarking what kind of new interpretations they acquire in the new literary context. Odysseus' adventures (from Troy to Ithaca) are twelve and all of them are mocked in this three hundred lines' poem (although some instances are more direct in their mockery than others). My cross-reading between Batrachomyomachia and the odyssean model will converge on the following basic points: Psicharpax's portrait is painted as the exact opposite of Odysseus' profile and the epic parody allude to the sea-going adventures as signs of misfortune.