'Tragedy and the Hero'

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The use of tragedy in Plutarch's Lives delineates character and provides a set of conceptual tools for the reader to make sense of what happens to Plutarch's heroes and draw their own moral lessons from their experiences. There is clearly more scope for tragic patterning in Pompey than in Agesilaus, because of the differing career trajectories of those two subjects, but there are some heroes whose Lives suggest tragedy whom tragic imagery does not surround: why is there no sustained tragic feeling in Theseus ? Why not more in Themistocles? In Alcibiades? This chapter looks at some of these harder cases, and see what they can tell us about tragedy and the Plutarchan hero. Tragic imagery can be used not only to illuminate the character of the hero and his situation, but also to explore the interrelation of life and art, and the pattern of historical events.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to Plutarch
EditorsMark Beck
Place of PublicationOxford
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-1-4051-9431-0
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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