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Greene, M.A. (2015). Homeric Heroes, Narcissistic Characters. Psychoanal. Inq., 35(1):101-116.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 35(1):101-116

Homeric Heroes, Narcissistic Characters

Marshall A. Greene, M.D.

After demonstrating that the heroes described by Homer and modern-day narcissistic characters have nearly identical traits, I suggest definitions of shame and guilt that answer the criticisms of classicists who doubt that a society controlled by shame can actually exist. After listing the responses to guilt and shame seen in the psychoanalyst’s consultation room, I apply these concepts to a reading of the Homeric epics revealing new insights into the motivations of Achilles and Odysseus, and by extension to the other heroes portrayed by Homer. Phenomenological observations, rather than metapsychological theories, are emphasized throughout the article.

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