Liberty and Revolt Against Heaven: Why Read Greek Tragedies?
I've been reading Greek tragedies. Since I read them last, at 17 years of age, they have improved.
In fact, they speak across the ages now, man to man, from lips that have been dust for twenty five centuries into this ear that still sings a beat of human blood. And what is the bridge over 25 centuries except our common suffering, imposed and accepted, and our common liberties, upheld or revolted against?
But to connect these Greek tragedians - Aeschylus' Agammemnon, Sophocles' Antigone, Euripides' Bacchae - to the great ideas of liberty, imagination, pain and pleasure, is to add more meaning to them than they need. After all, all the pleasure of reading these men comes from the pristine clarity of song and reason.
The whole reason for the remaining fame of the Greek tragedies is that they are delightfully and joyfully fulfilling experiences. That is all the reason they need.