Moral Awareness in Greek Tragedy
Lawrence's volume provides a detailed discussion and analyses of the moral awareness of major characters in Greek tragedy, focusing particularly on the characters' recognition of moral issues and crises, their ability to reflect on them, and their consciousness of doing so. Beginning with a definition of morality and examining the implications of analysing the moral performance of fictional characters, Lawrence considers concepts of the self and the problem of autonomy and personal responsibility in the context of divine intervention, which is a crucial feature of the genre. The volume then moves on to the individual plays (Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes and Oresteia; Sophocles' Ajax, Trachiniae, Oedipus Tyrannus, Electra, and Philoctetes; and Euripides' Medea, Hecuba, Hippolytus, Heracles, Electra, and Bacchae), focusing in each case on a crisis or crises faced by a major character and examining the background which led to it. Lawrence then considers the individual character's moral response and relates it to the critical issues formulated in the volume's opening discussions. The book will be important to any student of Classical Studies and those in Philosophy or Literature interested in a theoretical discussion of the morality of literary characters.
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2 Moral Autonomy and Divine Intervention
Seven against Thebes
Choephori and Eumenides
Achilles action Aegisthus Aeschylus Agamemnon agent Ajax Ajax’s ancient Aphrodite Apollo appears aretē argues Artemis Athena Atreidae attitude audience Aulis avenging behaviour character chorus claims Clytemnestra commitment context course curse daimōn death decision deed Deianeira deliberations desire destiny dilemma Dionysiac Dionysus divine Electra emotional enemies Eteocles ethical eugeneia Euripidean Euripides evil father feelings filicide Furies god’s goddess gods Greek hand Hecuba Heracles hero hero’s heroic Hippolytus honour human ibid Iliad implications intervention Iphigenia judgement justice kill Laius least madness man’s matricide Medea mental mind moral awareness moral response mother motive murder nature Neoptolemus Odysseus Oedipus one’s Orestes passion Pentheus perhaps Phaedra philia Philoctetes pity play play’s pollution Polymestor Polyneices psychological punishment rational reason rejection revenge role sacrifice scene seems Segal sense situation Sophoclean Sophocles sōphrosunē speech suggests symbolic sympathy Teiresias Theseus thumos traditional tragedy tragic Troy victim warrior Winnington-Ingram Zeus Zeus’s