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EnragedWhy Violent Times Need Ancient Greek Myths$
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Emily Katz Anhalt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300217377

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300217377.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 21 January 2022

Introduction

Introduction

The Power of Stories

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Enraged
Author(s):

Emily Katz Anhalt

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300217377.003.0001

This book examines three ancient Greek myths—Homer's Iliad, Euripides' Hecuba, and Sophocles' Ajax—to illustrate the costs of rage and identify crucial prerequisites for the nonviolent resolution of conflicts. Performed publicly as epic songs or tragic plays, ancient Greek myths expose tyranny and violence as universal toxins capable of destroying both perpetrator and victim. They emphasize the self-destructiveness of rage and undermine the traditional equation of vengeance with justice, but they also remind their audiences that human beings have better options for dealing with one another. The book analyzes the critique of rage in Iliad, which addresses the misuse of power and questions the utility of vengeance, and Hecuba and Ajax, both of which commend verbal persuasion over physical violence but also underscore the ambivalent potential of persuasive speech.

Keywords:   rage, Greek myths, Iliad, Hecuba, Ajax, tyranny, violence, vengeance, power, persuasion

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