Under the Sign of the Shield

Under the Sign of the Shield : Semiotics and Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes

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A study of the last drama of Aeschylus' trilogy concerned with the fortunes of the house of Laius that ends with the story of Oedipus' sons, the enemy brothers, who self-destruct in mutual fratricide but thereby save the besieged city of Thebes. The book's findings, however, far exceed these limits to explore the relationships between language and kinship, as between family and city, self and society, and Greek ideas about the nature of human development and identity.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 198 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 19mm | 440g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 2nd Revised ed.
  • 0739125893
  • 9780739125892
  • 1,965,115

Table of contents

Chapter 0 Foreword by Greg Nagy Chapter 2 Preface to the First Edition Chapter 3 Preface to the Second Edition Part 4 I Language, Structure, and the Son of Oedipus Chapter 5 1 Trilogy: Narrative, Time, and Repetitive Form Chapter 6 2 Genos: System of Finality/System of Language Chapter 7 3 Mythos-Polis/Genos: Autochthony/Incest Chapter 8 4 Hero: Structure, Sign, and Identity Chapter 9 5 Reading the Signs by the Rules of the Game Part 10 II The Shield Scene Chapter 11 6 Tydeus-Melanippos: 375-416 Chapter 12 7 Kapaneus-Polyphontes: 422-451 Chapter 13 8 Eteoklos-Megareus: 457-480 Chapter 14 9 Hippomedon-Hyperbios: 486-520 Chapter 15 10 Parthenopaios-Aktor: 526-562 Chapter 16 11 Amphiaraos-Lasthenes: 568-626 Chapter 17 12 Polyneikes-Eteokles: 631-685 Chapter 18 13 Aftermath Chapter 19 Appendix to Part II: The Opfertod Theory Part 20 III System and Representation Chapter 21 14 The Shield Scene as System: Relations and Patterns Chapter 22 15 The Shield Scene as Representation: the Mise en Scene Chapter 23 16 The Shield Scene as System: the Development of the Self Chapter 24 Postscript: Tragic Thebes on the Athenian Stage
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Review quote

With this brilliant analysis of Aeschylean drama, Froma Zeitlin shows twenty-first century students, scholars, and lovers of antiquity how to read Greek tragedy. -- Page duBois, University of California, San Diego This is undoubtedly the one book to read on Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes, a classic of the criticism of tragedy. The range of questions, the brilliance of the analyses, the importance of the issues raised make this a book that anyone thinking about tragedy should know intimately. The Seven Against Thebes was one of the most influential of ancient tragedies, and, with Zeitlin's reading, we can see how many of the great themes of tagedy were put in place here. -- Simon Goldhill Since its original publication in 1982, Under the Sign of the Shield has inspired many readers and critics with its close readings and uncompromising embrace of a theoretical approach. The first edition represented the leading edge of classics and literary theory, and even 25 years later its interpretations cut deep. This new edition of Zeitlin's seminal study of Seven Against Thebes makes a hitherto difficult-to-find text available to a wider audience. We should applaud its rerelease, with a brief but useful new introduction, additions to notes and bibliography, and a postscript on "Tragic Thebes." -- Daniel Berman, The Pennsylvania State University
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About Froma I. Zeitlin

Froma I. Zeitlin is professor of classics and the Charles Ewing Professor of Greek Language and Literature at Princeton University.
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