Sophocles and Alcibiades

Book Details

Author  Michael Vickers
Publisher  Cornell University Press
Publication Date   July 10, 2008
ISBN  0801447321
Pages  224

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Literary historians have long held the view that the plays of the Greek dramatist Sophocles deal purely with archetypes of the heroic past and that any resemblance to contemporary events or individuals is purely coincidental. In this book, Michael Vickers challenges this view and argues that Sophocles makes regular and extensive allusion to Athenian politics in his plays, especially to Alcibiades, one of the most controversial Athenian politicians of his day. Vickers shows that Sophocles was deeply involved in Athenian political life, which was often intensely personal. He argues cogently that classical writers employed hidden meanings and that Sophocles consciously or subconsciously projected onto his plays hints of contemporary events or incidents, mostly of a political nature, hoping that his audience's passion for politics would enhance the popularity of his plays. Vickers strengthens his case about Sophocles by discussing authors-Thucydides, Plato, and Euripides-whose work contains a body of allusions to Alcibiades and others.

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