Revenge in Attic and Later Tragedy

Revenge in Attic and Later Tragedy

eBook - 1998
Rate this:
University of California Press
Modern readings of ancient Athenian drama tend to view it as a presentation of social or moral problems, as if ancient drama showed the same realism seen on the present-day stage. Such views are belied by the plays themselves, in which supremely violent actions occur in a legendary time and place distinct both from reality and from the ethics of ordinary life. Offering fresh readings of Attic tragedy, Anne Pippin Burnett urges readers to peel away twentieth-century attitudes toward vengeance and reconsider the revenge tragedies of ancient Athens in their own context.

After a consideration of how our view of Elizabethan drama has obscured an accurate view of the ancient tragedies, Burnett reviews early Greek notions of vengeance as expressed in theOdyssey, Heracles' tales, Pindar's odes, Attic judicial processes, and the legend of Harmodius and Aristogeiton. Then, setting aside post-Platonic and Judeo-Christian notions of criminality, she provides new interpretations of all the Attic tragedies in which revenge is a central theme: Aeschylus' Libation Bearers, Sophocles'Ajax, Electra, and Tereus, and Euripides' Children of Heracles, Hecuba, Medea, Electra, andOrestes.

Burnett shows that for the ancients, revenge meant a redress of imbalances in both human and divine worlds, achieved through human actions. The vengeful heroines thus appear in a new light. Electra, Hecuba, Medea, and others cease to be the picture of depravity in dramas that are grotesque and sensational, and are instead representative human figures who respond with grandeur to the outsize demands of necessity and supernatural powers.


Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, c1998
ISBN: 9780585160191
0585160198
9780520919952
0520919955
0520210964
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xviii, 306 p.)

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at IPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top