Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge

Charles Segal

208 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 0195133218


Language: English

Publish: December 21, 2000

Oedipus Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge, 2/e , is an accessible yet in-depth literary study of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus ( Oedipus Rex )–the most famous Greek tragedy and one of the greatest masterpieces of world literature. This unique volume combines a close, scene-by-scene literary analysis of the text with an account of the play’s historical, intellectual, social, and mythical background and also discusses the play’s place in the development of the myth and its use of the theatrical conventions of Greek drama. Based on a fresh scrutiny of the Greek text, this book offers a contemporary literary interpretation of the play, including a readable, nontechnical discussion of its underlying moral and philosophical issues; the role of the gods; the interaction of character, fate, and chance; the problem of suffering and meaning; and Sophocles’ conception of tragedy and tragic heroism. This lucid guide traces interpretations of the play from antiquity to modern
times–from Aristotle to Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Lacan, Lévi-Strauss, Girard, and Vernant–and shows its central role in shaping the European conception of tragedy and modern notions of the self. This second edition draws on new approaches to the study of Greek tragedy; discusses the most recent interpretative scholarship on the play; and contains an annotated up-to-date bibliography. Ideal for courses in classical literature in translation, Greek drama, classical civilization, theater, and literature and arts, Oedipus Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge, 2/e , will also reward general readers interested in literature and especially tragedy.

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