Euripides and the Poetics of Nostalgia (Google eBook)

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 16, 2006 - History
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Branded by critics from Aristophanes to Nietzsche as sophistic, iconoclastic, and sensationalistic, Euripides has long been held responsible for the demise of Greek tragedy. Despite this reputation, his drama has a fundamentally conservative character. It conveys nostalgia for an idealized age that still respected the gods and traditional codes of conduct. Using deconstructionist and feminist theory, this 2006 book investigates the theme of the lost voice of truth and justice in four Euripidean tragedies. The plays' unstable mix of longing for a transcendent voice of truth and skeptical analysis not only epitomizes the discursive practice of Euripides' era but also speaks to our postmodern condition. The book sheds light on the source of the playwright's tragic power and enduring appeal, revealing the surprising relevance of his works for our own day.
  

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Contents

1
33
him reciting the catalogue of ships and warriors that
36
In setting out the aims and purpose of his history
46
approximation of the truth than do poetic or romantic accounts
47
In Platos Phaedrus Socrates criticizes the use of the standard
48
Wrong Logic defends the practice of adultery by referring to
54
morals that would overtake the whole of the Hellenic world
56
2
71
True to his character Agamemnon offers a cautious politically
138
assures him that she still considers him a friend but
140
This trial scene provides yet another forum for Hecubas rhetorical
142
4
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the archetypal voice of truth in the ancient Greek world
147
representations of the gods both in art and in story
160
Would see your temples empty since you are
166
Xuthus
168

Hippolytus expressing the wish that he had possessed some indication
72
Greek poetry24 In this passage Phaedra seems to single out
81
Phaedras yearning for a clear distinction between signifiers
82
The house here works as a kind of just voice
84
that one should speak but those that have the power
85
by this deeprooted fundament of earth
89
3
104
1323 who convinced the Greeks that the honor of Achilles
118
Odysseus cold counsel is reminiscent of the sterile Athenian response
120
Even though Odysseus acknowledges that Hecuba saved his life
124
Agamemnon with a thousand tongues 840 using the range of
126
The chorus praise of Polyxena as noble both in birth
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as elsewhere in the Euripidean corpus the nostalgia for an
133
seem to recover the power of a lost voice of
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beauty of the goldenhaired Apollos appearance 8878 and music
171
even as they reveal themselves to be opposed to him
174
in Delphi Conversely Ion had referred to his mother as
175
signs given by Apollo a series that extends back
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Moreover Athena prophesies that Xuthus and Creusa will themselves
180
and Creusa praises the oracle for having restored her son
183
girl of Delphi 551 is a fabrication about which Xuthus
184
5
188
Helen again reveals her concern with her own image when
198
difference49 But a lowly portress disabuses him of this notion
205
underscores the sharp discrepancy between his kleos and what we
206
Menelaus retreats from the dizzying prospect of a doubled cosmos
207
question Who shall teach you better than your eyes?56 Menelaus
208

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Page 36 - Tell me now, you Muses who have your homes on Olympos, for you, who are goddesses, are there and you know all things, and we have heard only the rumour of it and know nothing.

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