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Reframing Tragedy

Reframing Tragedy Helene P. Foley BOOK REVIEWED: Anne Carson, H of H Playbook. New York: New Directions, 2021. nne Carson’s long-term obsession with Herakles emerges from endless contradictory representations of this unique Greek hero/eventual divini- Aty. The colossal Herakles of the famed labors kills an array of monstrous beasts; wears a lion skin; uses a bow and arrow and club more often than the heroic shield and spear; defeats whole cities or armies by himself; briefly takes over hold- ing the world on his shoulders from the god Atlas; travels the globe from far east to far west; descends to Hades to retrieve the three-headed dog of the Underworld, Cerberus; and makes the world safe for civilization from the margins. This figure is ubiquitous on Greek pots and temples but is remote and not quite accessibly human. Herakles/Hercules was also for Greeks and Romans a stoic hero who ac- cepts a life of continuous toil because Hera, the goddess who hated him from the moment Zeus conceived him with the mortal woman Alkmene, cheated him of his birthright and doomed him to serve his cousin Eurystheus. Even his name, which means “glory of Hera” (hera/kleos), derives from this enmity. Unlike other http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art MIT Press

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Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
© 2022 Performing Arts Journal, Inc.
ISSN
1520-281X
eISSN
1537-9477
DOI
10.1162/pajj_r_00620
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Helene P. Foley BOOK REVIEWED: Anne Carson, H of H Playbook. New York: New Directions, 2021. nne Carson’s long-term obsession with Herakles emerges from endless contradictory representations of this unique Greek hero/eventual divini- Aty. The colossal Herakles of the famed labors kills an array of monstrous beasts; wears a lion skin; uses a bow and arrow and club more often than the heroic shield and spear; defeats whole cities or armies by himself; briefly takes over hold- ing the world on his shoulders from the god Atlas; travels the globe from far east to far west; descends to Hades to retrieve the three-headed dog of the Underworld, Cerberus; and makes the world safe for civilization from the margins. This figure is ubiquitous on Greek pots and temples but is remote and not quite accessibly human. Herakles/Hercules was also for Greeks and Romans a stoic hero who ac- cepts a life of continuous toil because Hera, the goddess who hated him from the moment Zeus conceived him with the mortal woman Alkmene, cheated him of his birthright and doomed him to serve his cousin Eurystheus. Even his name, which means “glory of Hera” (hera/kleos), derives from this enmity. Unlike other

Journal

PAJ: A Journal of Performance and ArtMIT Press

Published: May 1, 2022

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