Liberty and Responsibility in Greek Tragedy


Conflicts over how to understand the possibilities of and constraints on individual human liberty and responsibility are a major theme in ancient Greek tragedy. The conflicts concern both human beings’ relationships with each other, privately and publicly, and the relationship between the human and the divine. The plays read in this colloquium place these conflicts at the center of their dramatic depictions of imperfect human beings taking consequential action under conditions of incomplete knowledge and extreme stress.


Conference Readings

Aeschylus. Prometheus Bound, The Suppliants, Seven Against Thebes, The Persians. New York: Penguin Classics, 1961.

Aeschylus. Oresteia. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Euripides. Bacchae. Cambridge, UK: University Press, 2000.

Sophocles. Antigone, Oedipus the King, Electra. New York: Oxford University Press, 1962.