Nate GordonENGL 213.
02Exercise 5: The Voice of the Shuttle In his 1969 article, “The Voiceof the Shuttle: Language from the Point of View of Literature,” GeoffreyHartman identifies the connection between the voice of the shuttle and the myth of Philomela. Hartman explainsthat the frequent allusion is derived from a lost play written by Sophocles, anancient Greek tragedian and is referenced by Aristotle in his Poetics. Sophocles’ play, the Tereus, tells the story of how Tereusraped his sister-in-law, Philomela, and cut out her tongue. In response,Philomela wove a tapestry depicting what Tereus did to her; Sophocles referredto this as the “voice of shuttle” (Hartman 240). The woven tapestry of art allowsPhilomela’s sister, Procne, to learn what Tereus did (Ovid VI. 588) TheOxford English Dictionary defines shuttle as “Aninstrument used in weaving…” (OED Online).In the myth of Philomela, the heroine used a shuttle to construct the woventapestry which allowed others to learn of her rape. In his article, Hartman explains that through literaturethe myth of Philomela exists metonymically and through synecdoche (Hartman241).
In response to Hartman’s article, Patricia Klindienst Joplin argues that Hartmandoes not acknowledge that the story of Philomela is primarily about “theviolated woman’s emergence from silence” (Joplin 36). Because the story ofPhilomela is so well known through ancient sources, Philomela and the voice ofthe shuttle are frequently used in modern literature to represent a methodby which an otherwise muted voice can be heard. Works CitedHartman,Geoffrey. “The Voice of the Shuttle: Language from the Point of View ofLiterature.” The Review of Metaphysics,vol. 23, no. 2, Dec.
1969, pp. 240–258. PhilosophyEducation Society Inc., www.jstor.org/stable/20125534.
Higgins,Lynn A., and Brenda R. Silver, editors. Rape and Representation. ColumbiaUniversity Press, 1991.Ovid,and E.
J. Kenney. Metamorphoses.Translated by A.
D. Melville, Oxford University Press, 2008.”Shuttle,n.2″ OED Online, Oxford University Press,January 2018, www.oed.
com/view/Entry/179072.Accessed 28 January 2018.