Book Club | January 2023: Seneca Thyestes

Atreus … I must dare some crime, atrocious, bloody, such as my brother would more wish were his. Crimes thou dost not avenge, save as thou dost surpass them. And what crime can be so dire as to overtop his sin? Does he lie downcast? Does he in prosperity endure control, rest in defeat? I know the untamable spirit of the man; bent it cannot be – but it can… Read more

Fan of Ancient Greek Tragedy Chorus

Listening to or reading a Greek tragedy is not an easy exercise. When the chorus appears, often people pass the text, if they are reading, and start daydreaming if they are part of an audience. It was like that for me for a long period, then I discovered the beauty of the text. I began to find interest in the place given to the chorus in a drama. We know… Read more

The Structure of Greek Tragedy: An Overview

There are different terms for different parts of a Greek drama, some of which modern scholars took from Aristotle and other ancient drama critics. The typical structure of an Ancient Greek tragedy is a series of alternating dialogue and choral lyric sections. (There are exceptions, and technical divisions naturally do not explain intellectual and emotional “soft power” aspects of a great Greek tragedy.) The dialogue sections are in typically speechverse,… Read more

Dreams | Part 2: Dreams in later Greek texts

In part 1, we looked at dreams as represented in Homeric epic. In part 2, we continue our exploration with some passages from other texts. Starting with tragedy, we learn from Jean Alaux Lectures Tragiques d’Homère that “According to Jacques Jouanna, there are two types of dreams: the vision-dream which offers the sleeper a symbol to decipher … and the visitation–dream where a god or a messenger or a ghost… Read more

Book Club | January 2020: Aristotle Poetics

Let us here deal with Poetry, its essence and its several species, with the characteristic function of each species and the way in which plots must be constructed if the poem is to be a success; and also with the number and character of the constituent parts of a poem, and similarly with all other matters proper to this same inquiry; and let us, as nature directs, begin first with… Read more