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Murder Among Friends : Violations of Philia in Greek Tragedy - Elizabeth S. Belfiore

Murder Among Friends

Violations of Philia in Greek Tragedy

Hardcover Published: 27th January 2000
ISBN: 9780195131499
Number Of Pages: 304

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Modern scholars have followed Aristotle in noting the importance of philia (kinship or friendship) in Greek tragedy, especially the large number of plots in which kin harm or murder one another. More than half of the thirty-two extant tragedies focus on an act in which harm occurs or is about to occur among philoi who are blood kin. In contrast, Homeric epic tends to avoid the portrayal of harm to kin. It appears, then, that kin killing does not merely occur in what Aristotle calls the "best" Greek tragedies; rather, it is a characteristic of the genre as a whole.
In Murder Among Friends, Elizabeth Belfiore supports this thesis with an in-depth examination of the crucial role of philia in Greek tragedy. Drawing on a wealth of evidence, she compares tragedy and epic, discusses the role of philia relationships within Greek literature and society, and analyzes in detail the pattern of violation of philia in five plays: Aeschylus' Suppliants, Sophocles' Philoctetes and Ajax, and Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris and Andromache. Appendixes further document instances of violation of philia in all the extant tragedies as well as in the lost plays of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.E.

Industry Reviews

"Belfiore's examination of individual plays is careful and frequently enlightening....Notes, a full bibliography, and valuable appendixes that look at the other tragedies and at tragic fragments complete the volume."--Choice "The appendices add considerable breadth to the study and provide statistical support for the overall thesis, and will serve as a useful handlist for the narratives of tragedy no longer extant. There is much of use here."--Bryn Mawr Classical Review

A Note on Spelling and Abbreviations
Philia Relationships and Greek Literaturep. 3
Averting Fratricide: Euripides' Iphigenia in Taurisp. 21
The Suppliant Bride: Io and the Danaids in Aiskhylos's Suppliantsp. 39
A Token of Pain: Betrayal of Xenia in Sophokles' Philoktetesp. 63
Sleeping With the Enemy: Euripides' Andromakhep. 81
Killing One's Closest Philos: Self-Slaughter in Sophokles' Aiasp. 101
Conclusionp. 117
Violation of Philia in the Extant Tragediesp. 123
Violation of Philia in the Fragments of the Major Tragediansp. 161
Violation of Philia in the Fragments of the Minor Tragediansp. 204
Notesp. 220
Glossaryp. 258
Works Citedp. 259
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195131499
ISBN-10: 0195131495
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 27th January 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.06
Weight (kg): 0.62