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No RegretsRemorse in Classical Antiquity$
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Laurel Fulkerson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199668892

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199668892.001.0001

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Neoptolemus and the Essential Elements of Remorse

Neoptolemus and the Essential Elements of Remorse

(p.66) 2 Neoptolemus and the Essential Elements of Remorse
No Regrets

Laurel Fulkerson

Oxford University Press

In Sophocles’ Philoctetes, we see something extremely close to a modern understanding of remorse, and even a quasi-positive valuation of that emotion. I argue that this is primarily because of Neoptolemus’ youth—he is permitted to feel and express remorse because he is not seen as fully adult. Remorse thus can sometimes serve as a kind of ‘contingent’ virtue for the learner.

Keywords:   Sophocles, Greek tragedy, characterization

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