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Myths and Tragedies in their Ancient Greek Contexts$
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Richard Buxton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557615

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557615.001.0001

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Blindness and Limits: Sophokles and the Logic of Myth

Blindness and Limits: Sophokles and the Logic of Myth

(p.173) 9 Blindness and Limits: Sophokles and the Logic of Myth
Myths and Tragedies in their Ancient Greek Contexts

Richard Buxton

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the interrelated themes of blindness and sight in Greek mythology in general, and in Sophokles' tragedies in particular. Using Saussure's distinction between langue and parole, the analysis sets out to describe a structure of thought (part of the langue of Greek mythology) and then shows how each mythical retelling makes its own distinctive ‘utterance’ (parole) within that structure. Along the way there are discussions of the blind poet and the blind seer; the notion of the transgression of human limits is also explored.

Keywords:   blindness, limits, Saussure, Sophokles, poet, seer, transgression

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