Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
The Heroic Temper: Studies in Sophoclean Tragedy (Sather Classical Lectures) Paperback – May 4, 1983
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
Having said that, _The Heroic Temper_ is a fantastic little book. Knox spends two chapters discussing the "Sophoclean Hero" in terms of all seven surviving tragedies, showing that the same character types, the same narrative tropes and even very consistently the same vocabulary is used in all seven. He compares and contrasts Sophocles and Aeschylus (especially with respect to "Prometheus Bound") and analyzes the Sophoclean hero in terms of Sophocles' political context and religion.
This alone is eye-opening and ought to precede any reading of Sophocles, but Knox then goes on to discuss in greater detail "Antigone" (two chapters) and "Philoctetes" and "Oedipus at Colonus" (one chapter apiece). I wish I'd had this book in college -- it's worth more than all the lectures I heard on Greek tragedy.
The six chapters were in fact originally six lectures, and (Greek parentheticals aside) the book retains a verbal, even conversational tone. Well written, insightful, powerful -- the book is a winner.
Unlike most scholars, Knox writes beautifully. The English is unhampered by theoretical jargon -- there is no mention of hermeneutic circles, metatheatre, metanarratives, or
metapsychology. In an age when Martin Heidegger appears to be the model of style in scholastic writing, Knox's elegant
and clear writing makes for a refreshing change indeed.
Another refreshing change is that he treats Sophocles as though he were an ancient poet rather than as though he were an ancient structural anthropologist with an interest in depth psychology, something which is almost eccentric nowadays. Moreover, Knox's passion for Sophocles is palpable and infectious.
So, an excellent read. If you read only one book about Sophocles, this is the one I would recommend.