Literary Medieval Criticism

From Agent to Spectator: Witnessing the Aftermath in Ancient by Emily Allen-Hornblower

By Emily Allen-Hornblower

This publication appears to be like at witnesses to soreness and loss of life in historic Greek epic (Homer’s Iliad) and tragedy. inner spectators abound in either genres, and feature got due scholarly consciousness. the current monograph covers new flooring through facing a particular subset of characters: people who find themselves installed the location of spectator to (and, frequently, commentator on) their very own deed(s). via their very nature, protagonists are restrained to the position of witness to the pain (or deaths) they've got prompted just for short stretches of time — usually a unmarried scene or perhaps simply the size of a speech — yet each example is of important significance, not only to our figuring out of the characters in query, but additionally to the articulation of primary topics in the poetic works below exam. As they shift from the prestige of agent to that of witness, those protagonists, qua spectators to the results in their activities, supply voice to, dramatize, and enact the tragic motifs of human helplessness and mortal fallibility that lie on the middle of Homeric epic and Greek tragedy and that outline the human , in a fashion that leads the viewers counting on to think about their own.

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