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Achilles in Greek Tragedy

Achilles in Greek Tragedy


Part of Cambridge Classical Studies

  • Date Published: August 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521038928

£ 30.99

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About the Authors
  • This study examines how one of the most popular and glamorous figures of Greek mythology was imagined on the tragic stage of fifth-century Athens. Dr Michelakis argues that dramatists persistently appropriated Achilles to address concerns of their time, from heroism and education to individualism and gender. Whether an aristocrat, a dead warrior or a young man, the tragic Achilles serves as a receptacle for competing definitions of heroism, oscillating between presence and absence, the exceptional and the paradigmatic. Tragedy draws on Achilles to display and pit against one another contrasting views of the mythological self and of its rights and obligations, powers and limitations. The book considers the whole corpus of extant Greek tragedy, with particular attention paid to Aeschylus' Myrmidons and Euripides' Hecuba and Iphigenia at Aulis.

    • Examines one of the most important characters of Greek mythology in a previously neglected but significant literary context
    • Offers insights into the presentation of heroism and its absence in Greek tragedy
    • Deals with important themes in Greek tragedy, such as education, individualism and gender
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Achilles in Greek Tragedy is an excellent book which provides a very systematic, sensitive and intelligent study of its subject.' David Fitzpatrick, The Open University

    '… this book offers several stimulating and thought-provoking … observations about some very interesting Greek plays. It will certainly be useful to any student of attic tragedy.' Journal of Hellenic Studies

    'All in all, a well-written and carefully edited book. In my view, its main strength is the combination of an attentive reading of the plays with an analysis of the position Achilles occupies in the mythological tradition, artistic representations, the social and cultural context of classical Athens and contemporary literary and philosophical sources.' L'Antiquité Classique

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521038928
    • length: 236 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.31kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of abbreviations
    1. Introduction: Achilles in the fifth century
    2. The problematic hero: Aeschylus' Myrmidons
    3. The dead hero: Euripides' Hecuba
    4. The hero to be: Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis
    5. Mapping the heroic absence: Achilles in other plays
    6. Afterword
    General index
    Index of passages.

  • Author

    Pantelis Michelakis, University of Bristol
    Pantelis Michelakis is a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford and Research Fellow at the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama at the University of Oxford.

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