Whom Gods Destroy: Elements of Greek and Tragic Madness
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.
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