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Guilt by DescentMoral Inheritance and Decision Making in Greek Tragedy$
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N. J. Sewell-Rutter

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199227334

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199227334.001.0001

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Irruption and Insight? The Intangible Burden of the Supernatural in Sophocles' Labdacid Plays and Electra

Irruption and Insight? The Intangible Burden of the Supernatural in Sophocles' Labdacid Plays and Electra

Chapter:
(p.110) 5 Irruption and Insight? The Intangible Burden of the Supernatural in Sophocles' Labdacid Plays and Electra
Source:
Guilt by Descent
Author(s):

N. J. Sewell‐Rutter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199227334.003.0006

This chapter considers some manifestations of inherited guilt, curses, and Erinyes in Sophocles, paying particular attention to his three Theban plays and his one Pelopid play, the Electra. Sophocles is treated separately because he is a special case in the relevant respects. Aeschylus and Euripides, for all their differences, seem in interesting ways to stand rather closer to one another than either does to Sophocles. It is argued that Sophocles does not share the Aeschylean preoccupation with doubly motivated action and its bearing on mortal decisions. At the same time, he is no less concerned than his two counterparts with familial dysfunction and with supernatural causation. It is simply that his concern with these concepts is handled differently

Keywords:   Greek tragedy, plays, Sophocles, inherited guilt, curses, Erinyes, Aeschylus, Euripides

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