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Harmful Interaction between the Living and the Dead in Greek Tragedy$
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Bridget Martin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621501

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621501.001.0001

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A framework: The Homeric and contemporary dead

A framework: The Homeric and contemporary dead

Chapter:
(p.12) Chapter One A framework: The Homeric and contemporary dead
Source:
Harmful Interaction between the Living and the Dead in Greek Tragedy
Author(s):

Bridget Martin

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789621501.003.0002

This chapter presents a short summary of the evidence for interaction between the living and the dead in Homer and fifth-century society, concentrating on pertinent topics such as the exposure of the dead, the possibility of post-mortem rewards and punishments (e.g. the Mystery Religions) and interaction between the living and the dead. The tragic dead do not replicate exactly the Homeric or the contemporary fifth-century dead, but they do owe them a large debt, and, from the opposite direction, the depiction of the dead on stage allowed the tragedians and, by extension, the audience to address certain issues in society. As such, this chapter presents the background against which the audience would have understood the dead on stage.

Keywords:   Homer, fifth-century BC society, Mystery Religions, historical enquiry, exposure

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