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Entering the AgonDissent and Authority in Homer, Historiography, and Tragedy$
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Elton T. E. Barker

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199542710

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199542710.001.0001

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(p.366) Epilogue
Entering the Agon

Elton T.E. Barker (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Using George W. Bush's second inauguration speech, which addresses both the importance of institutions to a community's freedom and the cultural distinctiveness of those institutions, this last section emphasizes the importance of structures within texts for not only representing but also reproducing values such as freedom or frank speaking. Each of the case studies presented here have shown the importance of managing dissent within the community, first by exploring how dissent works (or fails to work) within the institutional apparatus of the assembly, and then by involving the audience or reader in the process of management. In this way, representations of debate help construct an agonistic mentality by which one may perform as a citizen whether that is listening to epic, reading history or watching tragedy. It concludes with the suggestion that the challenge Achilles lays down to Agamemnon at the opening of the Iliad still requires answering even today.

Keywords:   Bush, institutions, freedom, debate, agonistic mentality, Achilles, frank speaking, assembly

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