The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #60: Sophocles

General Introduction
– Looking for the Yeti
– What’s on the blog?
– The review is coming tomorrow!
– Boethius Battlefield writes in
– An unenthusiastic obituary

A Primer on Greek Drama
– Civic festival
– Dionysian competition
– Millennia of theorizing
– Chorus and individuated characters
– The world’s most tedious arthouse film

A Primer on Sophocles
Popularity and fame
– The Theban trilogy
– The lost plays of Sophocles
– The third person

Aristotle Reads Oedipus
– What makes tragedy good for the city?
– Freytag’s Triangle
– Breaking up the action
– How readings limit our readings
– Why Oedipus is like IKEA

David and Nathan and Oedipus and Tiresias
– Minimizing sin at the expense of the polis
– Why Oedipus is not a particularly evil king
– Who suffers with whom?
– On death and exile
– What is Oedipus condemned for?
– Tragic flaw or great mistake?

I’m A-Freud of That Play!
– How does Freud fare as a reader of Sophocles?
– Skipping centuries of critics
– De-mythologizing (but not what you think)
– Human desires
– Stunted development
– The connection to dreams

– Who’s the tragic hero here?
– Public and private virtues
– To whom your obligation?
– Why Creon is not a monster
– Antigone as feminist icon
– Sophocles and civil disobedience

The Takeaway
– What does Sophocles do well?
– Why should Christians read him?
– The rebirth of tragedy

Aristotle. Trans. Gerald Else. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1967.

Dante. Inferno. Trans. Mark Musa. New York: Penguin, 2002.

Freud, Sigmund. The Interpretation of Dreams. Trans. James Strachey. New York: Basic, 2010.

King, Martin Luther, Jr. A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches. Ed. James M. Washington. New York: Harper, 1990.

MacIntyre, Alasdair. Whose Justice? Which Rationality? South Bend, Ind.: U of Notre Dame P, 1989.

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. New York: Penguin, 1998.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings. Ed. Raymond Geuss and Ronald Speirs. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999.

Plato. The Republic. Trans. Allan Bloom. New York: Basic, 1991.

Sophocles. The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York: Penguin, 2000.

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