Курсовая работа: А modal analysis of the Alcestis

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Английский язык
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Курсовые работы
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... But between man and man there are also crucial differences of modal degree, since men differ in their powers and therefore in their value. There are slaves, peasants, nobles, and free men; cowards, men of courage, and heroes. The hero is always interesting to the Greek mind because he is a modal frontiersman; he confounds old modalities and redefines the boundaries between man and god. One thinks of Herakles and his superhuman labors, Asklepios with his partial conquest of death, Orpheus with his harrowing of Hades--or the bravery of Alcestis. Or perhaps an Achilles, the archetypal youth confronted with the necessity of an early death. Implicit, often explicit, everywhere in Greek literature is a great hierarchy of being which runs from absolute, untrammeled Olympian possibility at the top, to sheer, wretched subjection to total necessity at the bottom. To this hierarchy the Greeks thought it possible and natural--indeed, almost second nature--to assign men and events. No body of thought is so overwhelmingly pervaded by such emphasis upon modal distinctions; no other literature is so concentrated upon the effort, to clarify, realize, and "place" the modes of existence. The spectrum is, of course, usually aristocratic, but the aristocracy involved is basically not that of blood but of achievement and arete.3


This uniquely Greek concentration on the modalities has been slighted simply because it is so overwhelmingly obvious that the temptation is strong to dismiss it as cultural rhetoric or mere linguistic habit. This would be a mistake. For it is this modal obsession, this passion for observing the modes of men and gods, that gives Greek thought and art their characteristic coherence and clarity. ...