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Lawrence, Stuart

Moral Awareness in Greek Tragedy

Lawrence´s volume provides a detailed discussion and analyses of the moral awareness of major characters in Greek tragedy, focusing particularly on the characters´ recognition of moral issues and crises, their ability to reflect on them, and their consciousness of doing so.
Beginning with a definition of morality and examining the implications of analysing the moral performance of fictional characters, Lawrence considers concepts of the self and the problem of autonomy and personal responsibility in the context of divine intervention, which is a crucial feature of the genre. The volume then moves on to the individual plays (Aeschylus´ Seven Against Thebes and Oresteia; Sophocles´ Ajax, Trachiniae, Oedipus Tyrannus, Electra, and Philoctetes; and Euripides´ Medea, Hecuba, Hippolytus, Heracles, Electra, and Bacchae), focusing in each case on a crisis or crises faced by a major character and examining the background which led to it. Lawrence then considers the individual character´s moral response and relates it to the critical issues formulated in the volume´s opening discussions.

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