This structural analysis of Euripidean tragedy focuses on the
dramatist's literary self-awareness as revealed in his own works
and particularly in the Medea. It explores the language of
the Medea as a rhetorical, theatrical construct that, to
paraphrase Aristotle, achieves through the display of pity and fear
the purgation of these same emotions.
"My criticism," Pietro Pucci says in his introduction, "both
outlines and unravels the figures of Euripidean language and
defines and questions the inflections and modulations of Euripides'
discourse. . . . I limit my inquiry to some central scenes of the
Medea, without losing sight of the structure of the whole
play and without neglecting scenes of other plays that are
pertinent to my argument."
Interpreting the Medea in accordance with Euripides'
definition of his tragic aim, Pucci emphasizes the elements of
pathos and pity. He describes several key elements in Euripides'
metaphysics-the remedial discourse, the monument, the garden, and
the sacrifice-and assesses their significance as tragic metaphors.
Because his analytical method and some of his terminology draw
imaginatively on the work of Jacques Derrida and other
post-structuralists, this book has at once literary, sociocultural,
and philosophical dimensions.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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