Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge

Paperback | December 15, 2000

byCharles Segal

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Oedipus Tyrannus: 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 Greektext, 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, Levi-Strauss, Girard, and Vernant--and shows its central role in shaping the European conception of tragedy and modernnotions 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, classicalcivilization, theater, and literature and arts, Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge, 2/e, will also reward general readers interested in literature and especially tragedy.

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Oedipus Tyrannus: 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 ac...

Charles Segal is Walter C. Klein Professor of the Classics at Harvard University.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:December 15, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195133218

ISBN - 13:9780195133219

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Table of Contents

IllustrationsPreface to the Second EditionA Note on References and AcknowledgmentsChronologyLITERARY AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT1. Introduction2. Historical and Cultural Background3. Performance, Theater, and Social Context4. The Oedipus Myth and Its Interpretation5. Oedipus and the Trials of the Hero6. Life's Tragic Shape: Plot, Design, and DestinyREADING OEDIPUS TYRANNUS7. The Crisis of the City and the King8. Discovery and Reversal9. Resolution: Tragic Suffering, Heroic Endurance10. Inner Vision and Theatrical Spectacle11. "To Look upon the Light for the Last Time": The Place of Oedipus Tyrannus in Sophocles' Work12. Reception, Influence, and Recent Literary CriticismSelected bibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"A good and useful book that raises important questions and considers significant areas....Written with Segal's usual clarity and grace."--James Obertino, Central Missouri State University