Tag Archives: Oedipus

My Cataract Surgery Recalls Oedipus, Lear

Recent cataract surgery had me recalling all those literary passages where sharp objects get poked into people’s eyes. The real drama, however, was renegotiating my professional identity.

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Panicked by Trump? Turn to Lit

As Trump panic starts to set in, pundits are turning to literature to get an understanding of how it has all happened. This past week saw references to “Oedipus,” “Frankenstein,” “War and Peace,” and “Slaughterhouse Five.”

Posted in Sophocles, Tolstoy (Leo), Vonnegut (Kurt) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jeb! Agonistes: An Unsettling Parallel

Does Jeb Bush resemble at the moment Samson Agonistes? His rivalry with Marco Rubio also resembles any number of Shakespeare tragedies. There’s an Oedipus parallel as well.

Posted in Milton (John), Shakespeare (William), Sophocles | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Germany vs. Greece, a Greek Tragedy

Novelist Tim McCarthy argues that the economic collision between Germany and Greece reenacts a number of the classic Greek tragedies, most notably “Oedipus” and “The Oresteia.” But Athena may not intervene in this instance.

Posted in Aeschylus, Sophocles | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Are the Gods Out to Destroy Manziel?

The epic fail in Johnny Manziel’s first NFL start invites Sophoclean analogies. Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus also comes to mind.

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Oedipus in Iraq

America’s blindness in instigating the Iraq War, now proving to be an abject failure, resembles that of Oedipus.

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Top 10 Hellish Child-Parent Relationships

Top 10 Literary Parent-Child Relationships from Hell.

Posted in Aeschylus, Dostoevsky (Fyodor), Euripides, Lawrence (D. H.), O'Connor (Flannery), Plath (Sylvia), Roth (Philip K.), Shakespeare (William), Shelton (Richard), Sophocles | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Competing Heroic Narratives in Super Bowl

One Super Bowl narrative: Manning as the return of the king. Another narrative: Manning as Laius blocking the way of the next generation. Plus: Belichick-Welker in Oedipal drama.

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Oedipal Blindness in Benghazi

Will Hillary and Obama achieve the wisdom of the suffering Oedipus following their missteps in Benghazi?

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An Ideal Mother

When I think of a mother-son relationship that most matches my own, I think of Betsy Trotwood and David Copperfield.

Posted in Dickens (Charles), Woolf (Virginia) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

JFK as Ancient Greek Hero

Ancient Greek literature provides us with a power lens through which to examine the John F. Kennedy assassination.

Posted in Aeschylus, Euripides, Homer, Sophocles | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Manziel: Whom the Gods Would Destroy…

Johnny Manziel has “Greek tragic hero” written all over him.

Posted in Marlowe (Christopher), Sophocles | Also tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Joe Paterno, a Modern Day Oedipus

The lessons of the Sophocles play “Oedipus” can be applied to disgraced Penn State coach Joe Paterno.

Posted in Sophocles | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Roger Clemens, Greek Tragic Hero

Roger Clemens tried to bully his Congressional interrogators the way that Oedipus bullies witnesses. To say that he should have handled himself differently is to say that he should have been a different man.

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At 60, a Comfortable Old Scarecrow

Having just turned 60, I’ve been thinking of Teiresias. Wise though the blind seer may be, his advice doesn’t help others that much. Aging, in other words, appears to require humility.

Posted in Eliot (T.S.), Euripides, Johnson (Samuel), Sophocles, Yeats (William Butler) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Do Mistaken Idealists Apologize?

Watch out for political purists and dogmatic idealists. They can do a lot of damage. A writer who delivers this warning is Milan Kundera, a Czech novelist who owes his insights to his experience with communism and the 1968 Soviet invasion. Expect to encounter regular posts from me about Kundera because I am mentoring a […]

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Is Father-Son Conflict Inevitable?

I had an interesting conversation with my two sons yesterday as we drove them and my daughter-in-law to the Portland airport, marking the beginning of the end of our summer vacation.  The conversation began with me wondering why there weren’t works of literature that accurately capture the kind of father-son relationship that I feel that […]

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