When Henry Johnstone and I translated this passage, we wondered to what extent we could say that Odysseus persuades himself to endure. Is Odysseus involved in self-persuasion, what Johnstone has termed reflexive rhetoric, when he deliberates? Answering this question led us to explore related questions such as, does Odysseus have a "self" to which his deliberation/persuasion can be addressed? If so, how do we know that Odysseus actually persuades himself when he deliberates? If Odysseus does persuade himself, can we say he practices rhetoric on himself? Can we even talk of rhetoric in Homer? Through this essay, I wish to share--at least in part--our exploration of these questions. In particular, I address how Johnstone's idea of the rhetorical wedge moves us toward the idea of a reflexive rhetoric in Homer, a rhetoric in which Odysseus seems to be involved in his various deliberations.

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Copyright © 1998 Penn State University Press. This article first appeared in Philosophy and Rhetoric 31:1 (1998), 41-54.

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