Saturday, July 13, 2013

TFBT: Random Notes from Hour 22

At 22:28 in The Ancient Greek Heroin 24 Hours”, Professor Nagy discusses how Socrates’ hetairos  Chaerephon went to Delphi and got an enigmatic answer which sent Socrates on a wandering quest which resulted in strife in his community and the death of Socrates.  Didn’t this happy to Oedipus?  Go to Delphi and ask a question, get a weird answer, so go on a journey and end up bringing plague and civil war to your community,  followed by death.  What was it by fellow student Aristeagr said of Hour 21?  "So this tragic death of in a beautiful way what tragedy is all about. There is a negative hero Pentheus, a god antagonist to the hero, the hubris of the hero and finally his punishment that will lead to his kleos."  The meaning of hubris is "excessive pride"; usually a mortal not knowing his place.  In this comparison; Socrates is the negative hero based on the vote, Apollo is the trouble maker rather than Dionysius, Socrates hubris is when he goes around bragging about being the smartest man in the world, his punishment leads to his death and Plato provides his kleos.

“…something related to the gods… a voice, which comes to me ... This thing I have had ever since I was a child: it is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything”  Plato Socrates Apology 31d 

 Socrates final argument; dirt nap vs. paradise, is the first time in this course we have dealt with secular vs. pious arguments.



  1. Aristeagr expressed it very well, except that, to make the story not too flat and the audience sympathetic, the hero must not be too negative - and, hence, the god must be a bastard.
    In this play, Dionysius beats all records! Worse than Zeus, who at least shows some clemency to his family members. I am glad that, due to his late birth, I need not deal with him.
    Nevertheless, it would be fun to see Dionysius and his team dispatched to some modern capital where alcohol is banned.

  2. Maya,

    "Dionysius and his team dispatched to some modern capital where alcohol is banned." Now that would be a story!