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ISBN: 978-2-87457-039-1

Ulysse et Télémaque, un parcours symbolique en termes de comparatisme

= Article =
J.-L. DESNIER, « Ulysse et Télémaque, un parcours symbolique en termes de comparatisme », dans A. MEURANT (éd.), Routes et parcours mythiques : des textes à l'archéologie. Actes du Septième colloque international d'anthropologie du monde indo-européen et de mythologie comparée (Louvain-la-Neuve, 19-21 mars 2009), Bruxelles, 2011.
Georges Dumézil has suggested that Ulysses’final struggle with the suitors is the equivalent of the destruction of Troy or the battle of Kurukshetra (Mahabharata). One can readily understand that two opposing forces encounter each other, each organised according to the hierarchy of the three Indo-European functions : 1 Odysseus against Antinous / 2 Telemachus against Eurymachus / 3 Eumaeus and Philoitius against Ctessipus, Polybus and Agelaus. Seen from this point of view, I consider the different adventures of Odysseus as stages in his downfall, the last being his experience with Calypso whose name is the symbol of nothingness, before his recovery (symbolised by the gifts of the Phaeacians) which is essential in view of the catastrophic state of the kingdom of Ithaca, weakened by too great a number of suitors. Symbolically, the Telemachia corresponds to the search for and the gradual reappearance of the god Lleu in Wales, otherwise known as Lugh in Ireland. Structurally speaking, the different parts of Ithaca are the same as the Indo-European provinces of Celtic Ireland.