Tag Archives: Sophocles

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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Lit Opens Minds to Suffering of the Other

Philosopher Martha Nussbaum argues that literature is essential for creating good citizens in a diverse society, turning to Sophocles’s “Philoctetes” and Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” to make her point.

Posted in Aurelius (Marcus), Ellison (Ralph), Sophocles | Also tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Solace for Vets from Sophocles

A group has been giving dramatic readings of Sophocles plays in order to reach veterans suffering from PTSD. The results have been astonishing.

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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

Antigone Would Bury Boston Bomber

Sophocles and Homer present compelling cases for granting full funeral rights to the Boston Marathon bomber.

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Shakespeare a Lifeline for Those in Prison

A copy of Shakespeare’s works that circulated through apartheid-era prisons shows the Bard providing solace for the prisoners.

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Doc, Prescribe Me a Poem

Literature as therapy, Greek tragedy as soap opera: assorted articles about lit and life.

Posted in Bishop (Elizabeth), Levertov (Denise), Moore (Marianne), Sophocles | Also tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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 […]

Posted in Kundera (Milan), Sophocles | Also tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Using Twilight to Teach Antigone

Having compared Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight yesterday with Frances Burney’s Evelina, I feel I owe my readers an apology and an explanation. The apology is that I violated one of my principles for the website and judged the book by the movie. All I’ve read of Twilight is the excerpt on amazon.com. If I sell the […]

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Why Didn’t Poetry Save Neil from Suicide?

Yesterday I wrote about how Dead Poets Society, despite its support for poetry, still doesn’t give poetry enough credit and that Keating is the coin side of J. Evans Pritchard.  Whereas Pritchard wants to graph literary excellence on a Cartesian plane, Keating (at least in the scenes we see, which are all we have to […]

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