The Heroism of Hercules and the Beauty of Helen

Olga Taxidou

in Tragedy, Modernity and Mourning

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780748619870
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651719 | DOI:
The Heroism of Hercules and the Beauty of Helen

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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This chapter discusses two plays that present readings of masculinity and femininity. It first studies a reading of The Madness of Hercules that is concerned with the centrality of male-to-male philia, both to Euripides's rereading of the Hercules myth, and to the overall proposed aesthetics. The chapter suggests that The Madness of Hercules demonstrates some aspects of male hysteria. The next play examined in the chapter is Euripides' Helen, which is traditionally received as a light comedy. It shows that Helen can be included in any discussion about aesthetic theory and tragic form in general.

Keywords: Madness of Hercules; Helen; male to male; philia; Hercules myth; aesthetic theory; tragic form; male hysteria

Chapter.  11502 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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