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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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The dead harming the living: Autonomy and agents

The dead harming the living: Autonomy and agents

(p.143) Chapter Five The dead harming the living: Autonomy and agents
Harmful Interaction between the Living and the Dead in Greek Tragedy

Bridget Martin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter considers the extent to which the tragic dead are capable of harming the living by examining both the autonomous actions of the dead and the agentive relationships they form with the gods, the Erinyes and the living in pursuit of revenge in the world of the living. This chapter is constructed around case studies, the two most important being the agentive relationships between dead Agamemnon and his son Orestes in Aeschylus’ Choephori, and between dead Achilles and the Greek army in Euripides’ Hecuba. This chapter emphasises the active role of the dead in the pursuit of revenge and their ultimate inability to enact such revenge autonomously or to retain control over its unfolding in cases of agentive action.

Keywords:   Erinyes, ghosts, revenge, agentive relationships, agents

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