The Oedipus Casebook: Reading Sophocles' Oedipus the King

The Oedipus Casebook: Reading Sophocles' Oedipus the King

The Oedipus Casebook: Reading Sophocles' Oedipus the King

The Oedipus Casebook: Reading Sophocles' Oedipus the King


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Who killed Laius? Most readers assume Oedipus did. At the play’s end, he stands convicted of murdering his father, marrying his mother, and triggering a deadly plague. With selections from a stellar assortment of critics including Walter Burkert, Terry Eagleton, Michel Foucault, René Girard, and Jean-Pierre Vernant, this book reopens the Oedipus case and lets readers judge for themselves. The Greek word for tragedy means “goat song.” Is Oedipus the goat? Helene Peet Foley calls him “the kind of leader a democracy would both love and desire to ostracize.” The Oedipus Casebook readings weigh the evidence against Oedipus, place the play in the context of Greek scapegoat rites, and explore the origins of tragedy in the festival of Dionysus. This unique critical edition includes a new translation of the play by distinguished classics scholar Wm. Blake Tyrrell and the authoritative Greek text established by H. Lloyd-Jones and N. G. Wilson.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611863390
Publisher: Michigan State University Press
Publication date: 02/01/2020
Series: Studies in Violence, Mimesis & Culture
Edition description: 1
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Mark R. Anspach is the author of Vengeance in Reverse: The Tangled Loops of Violence, Myth, and Madness and the editor of Oedipus Unbound: Selected Writings on Rivalry and Desire, by René Girard.

Wm. Blake Tyrrell is Distinguished Professor of Classics at Michigan State University. He is the author of works including The Sacrifice of Socrates: Athens, Plato, Girard and coauthor of Athenian Myths and Institutions: Words in Action.

Table of Contents

Preface Mark R. Anspach vii

Acknowledgments xiii

Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, Greek text edited and annotated H. Lloyd-Jones N. G. Wilson Wm. Blake Tyrrell 1

Part 1 The Ritual Background

Greek Tragedy and Sacrificial Ritual Walter Burkert 129

Scapegoat Rituals in Ancient Greece Jan Bremmer 167

The Exposed Infant Marie Delcourt 191

Part 2 King and Victim

Imitating Oedipus Mark R. Anspach 219

Oedipus and the Surrogate Victim René Girard 245

Excerpt from Sweet Violence Terry Eagleton 269

Ambiguity and Reversal: On the Enigmatic Structure of Oedipus Rex Jean-Pierre Vernant 279

Oedipus as Pharmakos Helene Peet Foley 309

Part 3 Oedipus on Trial

Excerpt from Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling Michel Foucault 329

The Murderers of Laius William Chase Greene 363

The Murderers of Laius, Again (Soph. OT 106-7) Rick M. Newton 375

Who Killed Laius? Karl Harshbarger 381

Lêistas Ephaske: Oedipus and Laius' Many Murderers Sandor Goodhart 393

An Anonymous Namer: The Corinthian's Testimony Frederick Ahl 421

Index 453

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