- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (March 31, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521351162
- ISBN-13: 978-0521351164
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,232,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Helping Friends and Harming Enemies: A Study in Sophocles and Greek Ethics 1st Edition
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"The presentation is thorough and readable, and the footnotes provide more than enough trails for the curious to follow into the secondary literature. Besides covering its stated theme, the book is in fact a good, up-to-date introduction to ethical issues in Sophocles generally." Classical World
"This book belongs firmly within the best tradition of Sophoclean interpretation....a good book: it discusses important questions responsibly and thoughtfully." Ruth Scodel, Ancient Philosophy
The first detailed study of a single ethical principle in five plays by Sophocles concludes that ethical themes are not only integral to each drama, but subjected to an implicit critique through the tragic consequences to which they give rise.
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Top Customer Reviews
In her first chapter, she helpfully situates her work among the perspectives of modern and ancient literary and philosophical critics, including Plato and Aristotle, and highlights the dramatic dialogue as an appropriate public forum for airing opposing and often irreconcilable ethical perspectives, articulated and embodied by 'real' characters. This presentation of complex, plural perspectives could then, and still does, threaten those who want to keep things overly simple. Her second chapter explains and discusses the codes of Help Friends/Harm Enemies and the Talio as understood and practiced by ancient Greeks.
After a chapter each on Ajax, Antigone, Electra, Philoctetes, and Oedipus at Colonus (read each work itself first), her conclusion summarizes these dramatic explorations of ethical dilemmas: how they expose the limitations of the codes that shape the dramas as well as the characters who articulate and embody them often without realizing how they are misusing and abusing the codes--not to mention one another--to their own shortsighted advantage. A fascinating, clearly written introduction and ongoing reference work to Sophoclean tragedy as 'drama' and 'ethics'! Recommended for all levels of students and anyone interested in reading Greek tragedy intelligently.