Revenge Tragedy: Aeschylus to Armageddon

Paperback | November 1, 1997

byJohn Kerrigan

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Revenge has long been central to European culture. From Homer to Nietzsche, St Paul to Sylvia Plath, numerous major authors have been fascinated by its emotional intensity, and by the questions which it raises about violence, sexuality, death, and the nature of justice. In this exceptionallylearned and lively book, John Kerrigan explores the literature of vengeance from Greek tragedy to postmodernism, ranging through material in several languages, as well as through opera, painting, and film, while opening new perspectives on such famailiar English works as Hamlet, Clarissa, and TheAdventures of Sherlock Holmes. By means of broad historical analysis, but also through subtle attention to the fabric of individual texts, Kerrigan shows how evolving attitudes to retribution have shaped and reconstituted tragedy in the West, and elucidates the remarkable capacity of his ancient theme to generate innovativeworks of art. Although Revenge Tragedy: Aeschylus to Armageddon is a literary study, it makes fresh and ambitious use of ideas from anthropology, social theory, and moral philosophy. As a result it will be of interest to students in a variety of disciplines, as well as to the general reader.

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Revenge has long been central to European culture. From Homer to Nietzsche, St Paul to Sylvia Plath, numerous major authors have been fascinated by its emotional intensity, and by the questions which it raises about violence, sexuality, death, and the nature of justice. In this exceptionallylearned and lively book, John Kerrigan explor...

John Kerrigan is at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:420 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.02 inPublished:November 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198184514

ISBN - 13:9780198184515

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`This an audacious, wide-ranging, and exciting book ... this remarkable book considers a vast diversity of material and yet the effect is not one of scattering or randomness but one of harnessing all possible (and some almost-impossible) material to the illumination of the central theme ofrevenge ... It is impossible to give a full account of a metamorphic, richly diverse succession of arguments ... the whole of K.'s remarkable monograph on revenge, offers not only numerous suggestions for further development of his ideas, but also a rich, generous repertory of ideas on which anytutor who is committed to teaching classic texts in the modern academy can draw with benefit and (despite the sombre theme of the book) real pleasure.'Peter Davidson, University of Warwick, The Classical Review