The Strangeness of Tragedy

Hardcover | October 17, 2009

byPaul Hammond

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This book reads tragedy as a genre in which the protagonist is estranged from the world around him, and, displaced in time, space, and language, comes to inhabit a milieu which is no longer shared by other characters. This alienation from others also entails a decomposition of the integrityof the individual, which is often seen in tragedy's uncertainty about the protagonists' autonomy: do they act, or do the gods act through them? Where are the boundaries of the self, and the boundaries of the human? After an introductory essay exploring the theatrical and linguistic means by whichthe protagonist is made to inhabit a strange and singular world, the book devotes essays to plays from classical, renaissance, and neo-classical literature by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Seneca, Shakespeare, and Racine. Close attention is paid to the linguistic strangeness of the texts which is oftensmoothed over by editors and translators, as it is through the weirdness of tragic language that the deep estrangement of the characters is shown. Accordingly, the Greek, Latin, and French texts are quoted in the originals, with translations added, and attention is paid to textual cruces whichillustrate the linguistic and conceptual difficulties of these plays.

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This book reads tragedy as a genre in which the protagonist is estranged from the world around him, and, displaced in time, space, and language, comes to inhabit a milieu which is no longer shared by other characters. This alienation from others also entails a decomposition of the integrityof the individual, which is often seen in tra...

Paul Hammond was educated at Peter Symonds' School, Winchester, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a Prize Fellow from 1978 to 1982. He subsequently taught at the University of Leeds, where he has been Professor of Seventeenth-Century English Literature since 1996. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2002. ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.1 inPublished:October 17, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199572607

ISBN - 13:9780199572601

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Table of Contents

A Note on Texts and TranslationsAbbreviationsPrologue1. The Work of Tragedy2. Aeschylus, Oresteia3. Sophocles, Electra4. Sophocles, Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus5. Sophocles, Antigone6. Seneca, Thyestes7. Shakespeare, Macbeth8. Shakespeare, Othello9. Shakespeare, King Lear10. Racine, PhedreEpilogueIndex