In this Book

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In this ambitious and venturesome book, Peter W. Rose applies the insights of Marxist theory to a number of central Greek literary and philosophical texts. He explores major points in the trajectory from Homer to Plato where the ideology of inherited excellence—beliefs about descent from gods or heroes—is elaborated and challenged. Rose offers subtle and penetrating new readings of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Pindar's Tenth Pythian Ode, Aeschylus's Oresteia, Sophokles' Philoktetes, and Plato's Republic.

Rose rejects the view of art as a mere reflection of social and political reality—a view that is characteristic not only of most Marxist but of most historically oriented treatments of classical literature. He applies instead a Marxian hermeneutic derived from the work of the Frankfurt School and Fredric Jameson. His readings focus on illuminating a politics of form within the text, while responding to historically specific social, political, and economic realities. Each work, he asserts, both reflects contemporary conflicts over wealth, power, and gender roles and constitutes an attempt to transcend the status quo by projecting an ideal community. Following Marx, Rose maintains that critical engagement with the limitations of the utopian dreams of the past is the only means to the realization of freedom in the present.

Classicists and their students, literary theorists, philosophers, comparatists, and Marxist critics will find Sons of the Gods, Children of Earth challenging reading.

In this ambitious and venturesome book, Peter W. Rose applies the insights of Marxist theory to a number of central Greek literary and philosophical texts. He explores major points in the trajectory from Homer to Plato where the ideology of inherited excellence—beliefs about descent from gods or heroes—is elaborated and challenged. Rose offers subtle and penetrating new readings of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Pindar's Tenth Pythian Ode, Aeschylus's Oresteia, Sophokles' Philoktetes, and Plato's Republic.

Rose rejects the view of art as a mere reflection of social and political reality—a view that is characteristic not only of most Marxist but of most historically oriented treatments of classical literature. He applies instead a Marxian hermeneutic derived from the work of the Frankfurt School and Fredric Jameson. His readings focus on illuminating a politics of form within the text, while responding to historically specific social, political, and economic realities. Each work, he asserts, both reflects contemporary conflicts over wealth, power, and gender roles and constitutes an attempt to transcend the status quo by projecting an ideal community. Following Marx, Rose maintains that critical engagement with the limitations of the utopian dreams of the past is the only means to the realization of freedom in the present.

Classicists and their students, literary theorists, philosophers, comparatists, and Marxist critics will find Sons of the Gods, Children of Earth challenging reading.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page
  2. pp. i-iii
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  1. Copyright
  2. p. iv
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  1. Dedication
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Epigraphs
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Introduction: Marxism and the Classics
  2. pp. 1-42
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  1. 1. How Conservative Is the Iliad?
  2. pp. 43-91
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  1. 2. Ambivalence and Identity in the Odyssey
  2. pp. 92-140
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  1. 3. Historicizing Pindar: Pythian 10
  2. pp. 141-184
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  1. 4. Aeschylus’ Oresteia: Dialectical Inheritance
  2. pp. 185-265
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  1. 5. Sophokles’ Philoktetes and the Teachings of the Sophists: A Counteroffensive
  2. pp. 266-330
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  1. 6. Plato’s Solution to the Ideological Crisis of the Greek Aristocracy
  2. pp. 331-369
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  1. Afterword
  2. pp. 370-374
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  1. References
  2. pp. 375-406
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 407-412
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781501742583
Related ISBN(s)
9780801424250, 9780801499838, 9781501737695, 9781501742576
MARC Record
OCLC
1122613406
Pages
432
Launched on MUSE
2019-10-10
Language
English
Open Access
Yes

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