“That’s one of the things that stories and theater can do for us–shape our attitudes about what’s good, what’s bad, what we want to see, what we want to avoid, what we aim at.”

 On November 13 2017, Dr. Emily Katz Anhalt of Sarah Lawrence College spoke to us about violent Greek myths and their importance for our society today. Her 2017 book Enraged: Why Violent Times Need Greek Myths (Yale University Press), Anhalt re-tells and interprets stories from Homer’s Iliad, Sophocles’ tragedy Ajax, and Euripides’ tragedy Hecuba. She argues that these stories show the heavy tolls of violent behavior and led to the creation of democratic ideas in ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks represented the destructiveness of violent behavior to remind themselves of the danger inherent in that kind of attitude. But, Anhalt claims, our current attitude is very different. She points to the violent behavior that is the norm in modern media and the arrogance displayed on social media. Ancient Greece could solve our problems!

Dr. Caldwell recorded the lecture and it’s now available on YouTube.

Thank you for visiting us and sharing your insights about ancient and modern times, Dr. Anhalt. Her book is very readable and relatable: get it at Amazon or your favorite local bookseller!

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