Enraged

ebook Why Violent Times Need Ancient Greek Myths

By Emily Katz Anhalt

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"Anhalt's contribution is building an overarching narrative of how the Greeks engaged problems of anger—problems that continue to provoke."—Choice
Millennia ago, Greek myths exposed the dangers of violent rage and the need for empathy and self-restraint. Homer's Iliad, Euripides' Hecuba, and Sophocles' Ajax show that anger and vengeance destroy perpetrators and victims alike. Composed before and during the ancient Greeks' groundbreaking movement away from autocracy toward more inclusive political participation, these stories offer guidelines for modern efforts to create and maintain civil societies. Emily Katz Anhalt reveals how these three masterworks of classical Greek literature can teach us, as they taught the ancient Greeks, to recognize violent revenge as a marker of illogical thinking and poor leadership. These time-honored texts emphasize the costs of our dangerous penchant for glorifying violent rage and those who would indulge in it. By promoting compassion, rational thought, and debate, Greek myths help to arm us against the tyrants we might serve and the tyrants we might become.

"An engaging and sometimes inspiring guide to the rich complexities of the Iliad . . . Her underlying point is that, from its earliest origins, Western literature questioned the values of the society that produced it."—The New York Times Book Review

"Anhalt has taken on three of history's most important works of literature and applied their lessons to the present day. Enraged is an important reminder that reflection, dialogue, and empathy have no boundaries or time limits."—Amanda Foreman, Whitbread Prize-winning author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire

"[Anhalt's study is] rewarding and unnerving . . . A call to arms."—Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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Enraged