Whom Gods Destroy: Elements of Greek and Tragic Madness

Whom Gods Destroy: Elements of Greek and Tragic Madness

by Ruth Padel

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Overview

Whom Gods Destroy: Elements of Greek and Tragic Madness by Ruth Padel

Madness is central to Western tragedy in all epochs, but we find the origins of this centrality in early Greece: in Homeric insight into the "damage a damaged mind can do." Greece, and especially tragedy, gave the West its permanent perception of madness as violent and damaging. Drawing on her deep knowledge of anthropology, psychoanalysis, Shakespeare, and the history of madness, as well as of Greek language and literature, Ruth Padel probes the Greek language of madness, which is fundamental to tragedy: translating, making it reader-friendly to nonspecialists, and showing how Greek images continued through medieval and Renaissance societies into a "rough tragic grammar" of madness in the modern period.Madness is central to Western tragedy in all epochs, but we find the origins of this centrality in early Greece: in Homeric insight into the "damage a damaged mind can do." Greece, and especially tragedy, gave the West its permanent perception of madness as violent and damaging. Drawing on her deep knowledge of anthropology, psychoanalysis, Shakespeare, and the history of madness, as well as of Greek language and literature, Ruth Padel probes the Greek language of madness, which is fundamental to tragedy: translating, making it reader-friendly to nonspecialists, and showing how Greek images continued through medieval and Renaissance societies into a "rough tragic grammar" of madness in the modern period.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691025889
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 12/11/1995
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.04(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.71(d)

About the Author

Ruth Padel, recently Visiting Professor in the Modern Greek Program at Princeton University, is a freelance writer and prize-winning poet. She is the author of three books of poems and of In and Out of the Mind: Greek Images of the Tragic Self (Princeton).

Table of Contents

• Preface and Acknowledgments
• Abbreviations
• Ch. 1. Introduction: "He First Makes Mad"
• Pt. 1. Language and Timing
• Ch. 2. Tragic Madness Words
• Ch. 3. God of the Verb
• Ch. 4. Temporary versus Long-term Madness
• Pt. 2. Darkness and Vision
• Ch. 5. Inner Shadow
• Ch. 6. The Afterlife of Inner Blackness
• Ch. 7. Dark, Twisted Seeing
• Ch. 8. True Seeing
• Ch. 9. A Legacy of True Mad Seeing
• Pt. 3. Isolation: Wandering, Disharmony, Pollution
• Ch. 10. Stone: Madness Is Outside
• Ch. 11. "Alienus": Resonances of Mad Wandering
• Ch. 12. Inner Wandering
• Ch. 13. Daemonic Dance
• Ch. 14. Skin: Pollution and Shame
• Ch. 15. Disease, Passion
• Pt. 4. Damage
• Ch. 16. Mind Damage before Tragedy
• Ch. 17. Homer's Damage-Chain
• Ch. 18. The Two Roles of Madness
• Ch. 19. "Haywire City"
• Ch. 20. Divine Double Bind
• Pt. 5. Madness: A Rough Tragic Grammar
• Ch. 21. Mad in Another World
• Ch. 22. Knowledge That Is Sad to Have to Know
• Appendix. Ate in Tragedy: The Thinning of the Word
• Works Cited
• Index

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