Reminding ourselves of the hysteron proteron pattern, we complicate Homer's design.
I agree completely that literary terms--like hysteron proteron in the Anticleia passage--should be taught on "a need-to-know basis," and are best taught when such techniques can be linked to the author's larger purposes.
And, closely related to hysteron proteron
, it shouldn't be ass backward, which is the proper arrangement of one's anatomy, to describe things all turned around.
is, for example, an aspect of delayed decoding, oblique narration, and the Lingard trilogy.
Oddly enough, the subsection dealing with tropes ends with the non sequitur and hysteron proteron
, both of which might be thought more closely allied to rhetorical figures than to tropes.
Despite the consensus of editors, ardent cannot be right; if it is literal we must take the line as a weak example of hysteron proteron
(the women of course are not on fire before they have even rent their garments, much less leapt into the flames), and if it describes the `ardor' of the victorious wives it is a sick joke thoroughly inappropriate to the context.
This is the tropological structure of hysteron proteron, "the last before the first.
The ending of the poem returns to and is enfolded in, looped and tongued into, its beginning, its title, as it "begins" with its end - hysteron proteron - "under the image" not of Van Gogh's painting but of scripture's scroll.
The loop of reversibility of under and over, end and beginning, "both worlds," sky/heaven and scroll - which is the structure of the hysteron proteron, the last (the apocalypse) before the first (the title of the poem) - is ultimately the reversibility of letter and spirit, the emblem's cor and anima, to the limit of their unreadability.
This rhetorical device was known to the ancient Greeks as hysteron proteron
, or "last first.
5: HICCIUS DOCCIUS, HYSTERON PROTERON
(Web2) 6: JEEPERS CREEPERS
Such tests by inversion link chiasmus to the figure hysteron proteron
, the preposterous, the "arsie versie," the reversal of what ought by some criterion to take precedence.
et audias nostra verba must be a hysteron proteron
Ring composition, or classical Latin inclusio and medieval emboitement, as the device is also known, resembles architectonically a host of other small-scale or local tropes, figures, and graphic or acoustic games: the palindrome, the boustrophedon or mirror-spelled word, anadiplosis, the stanzaic corona, hysteron proteron, and, most important, antimetabole.
Ward Tonsfeldt acknowledged the structural dependence of ring composition on the Homeric formula long called hysteron proteron, or "last first.