Entering the Agon: Dissent and Authority in Homer, Historiography, and Tragedy
This book investigates one of the most characteristic and prominent features of ancient Greek literature - the scene of debate or agon, in which with varying degrees of formality characters square up to each other and engage in a contest of words. Drawing on six case studies of different kinds of narrative - epic, historiography and tragedy - and authors as diverse as Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, Sophocles and Euripides, this wide-ranging study analyses each example of debate in its context according to a set of interrelated questions: who debates, when, why, and with what consequences? Based on the changing representations of debate across and within different genres, it shows the importance of debate to these key canonical genres and, in turn, the role of literature in the construction of a citizen body through the exploration, reproduction and management of dissent from authority.
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Achaean assembly Achilles Aeschylus Agamemnon agon Ajax Ajax’s analysis argues argument Aristagoras Athenian Athens Atreidae audience authority challenge Chorus contest of words Corcyraeans Corinthians crisis critical culture Debnar decision democracy democratic Dewald discussion dissent dramatic episode Eupeithes Euripides Eurymachus explores ﬁrst frame freedom G. E. R. Lloyd Goldhill Greek Haubold Hector Hecuba hero Herodotus Hesk Homeric epic Hornblower ìbí Iliad important institutional framework interpretation judgement king king’s Mardonius Marincola Menelaus narrative narrator narrator’s Nestor Nicias Odyssean Odysseus Odyssey’s ŒÆd opening particular Pelling Persian perspective Plataeans play play’s polis political Polymestor Polyxena problem puts reader reading representation of debate represents resonates response rhetoric role scenes of debate Segal Sophocles Spartans speak speakers speech stage strategy structure suggests suitors supplication takes Tecmessa Telemachus Teucer Themistocles Thersites thinking Thucydides tradition tragedy tragic Trojan voice Xerxes Zeus