3, Achilles and Patroclus try to recover their equilibrium by inviting Thersites
into their presence.
Achilles the great Greek hero is talking to a fellow army commander, Patroclus, when they are joined by this Thersites
, "a deformed and scurrilous" man marked out by his bad temper and biting invective.
They open with a consideration of Homer's Iliad, finding evidence of class strife in the figure of Thersites
, who publicly denounces Agamemnon's willingness to sacrifice his soldiers for war booty (Homer, 1990, lines 262-275).
To cherry pick just a few examples, in 'Epic Extremities', which deals with the bookopenings and closures as a mix of prosaic and periphrastic poetic moments of the formulaic kind, there is an interesting comparison of the bald Lucius with the undignified and boorish Thersites
in the Iliad.
12) In the field of the history of religions I know of no one other than the American historian of religions Bruce Lincoln, who has sophisticatedly discussed this basic truth; see in particular, Authority: Construction and Corrosion (1994) about the maneuvers of the heroes of the Iliad towards the lame and ugly Thersites
and the discussion in Religion, Empire, and Torture: The Case of Achaemenian Persia, with a postscript on Abu Ghraib (2007) about ancient Iranian torture methods and the degrading and dehumanizing treatment of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison.
For this sin he has been made into a Thersites
figure, a stick-in-the-mud Founder, or a J.
Rediscovery of Turbinella thersites
Reeve, 1847, with notes on its taxonomic position (Gastropoda: Fasciolariidae).
satirical verse under the pseudonym of Thersites
for the Canadian Forum,
In the Iliad, laughter was a way of bringing a fractious group of people together, whether that be the gods on Olympus laughing at the limping Hephaistus at the end of Iliad 1 or the Greek army laughing at Thersites
in Iliad 2, because the ugly man who normally said anything to get a laugh had been put in his place by Odysseus.
The contrast between Achilles and Thersites
, whose base, servile and cowardly character is perfectly and unmistakably reflected in his fantastic ugliness, already establishes the points of reference for the ideology of kalokagathia in the Classical period, which celebrates male beauty in the context of the palaistra, gymnasium and the euandreia, while, in contrast, the enemies of Timarchus can point to the condition of his body and claim that his "very flesh," as James Davidson puts it, "contained a record of his morals"(219).
In Troilus and Cressida, Thersites
openly refers to Patroclus as "Achilles' male varlet" and "his masculine whore.
There is a charmingly hilarious performance from Zubin Varla as wheelchair-bound transvestite Thersites
, complete with tinny microphone, amplified gesticulation and the voice of a Bolton bingo caller.