Top 5 Historical figures of Greeks tragedy people may don’t know much about different write of different ages wrote parallels about all the historical heroes, new generation knows them regarding movies or theatre, but it’s necessary to know them according to their actual reality. People have sometimes thought that it might have been written on leather, but you would need a whole herd of cows to write the Italian. actually, it’s not on the whole very plausible that’s what writing would have been used for in the very early stages.
Top1. Historical figures of Greeks tragedy, Do most people think Homer was one person or two?
it was Homer one of the most readable Historical figures of Greeks tragedy Probably most of the people would go for two. It’s still very much disputed. Given that there is also a possibility that it only came to be written down sometime later or by somebody other than the person that we might call Homer, there are various permutations you could have.
You would have two original people who put their shape to the poem written down by the same person later on. Or the other hand, you have a single person as the original poet if you like, with all sorts of variations coming in at a later stage and finally being written down by two. It’s all highly speculative.
Top2. Historical figures of Greeks tragedy,Is Achilles the key character if there is one?
It has as much about Hector one of the most Homer one of the most famous Historical figures of Greeks tragedy Many people identify with Hector. Achilles and Hector are very different. It has partly because they are on different sides. Achilles is part of a military machine. There is a female company for him and that’s where it all starts but he is anything but a family man. His father back home is important.
Achilles is fighting partly because his father is there but also because of glory. In a way, this is what he feels he is made for.
Whereas for Hector, it is the baby seat in the back of the chariot, as it were. It’s the fact that he has got a warm bath waiting for him he has got his wife and his child. He has been fighting for Troy and he knows that they are going to lose but he must do it for the community.
And these different things come together, rather than being about any one person. You feel for a lot of people. You also feel for the women, which is interesting. You think of it as a very masculine poem but you see a lot of it through the eyes of the women.
Top3. Historical figures of Greeks tragedy, Did Herodotus travel to all these places or is it just rumour?
There is some dispute about whether he actually travelled to all the places he said he travelled to. He may bend the truth a little. The extreme sceptical position, that most of his travels are fundamentally made up, I don’t think would have many people signing up to.
Equally, there are times for instance in Egypt where he might not have gone quite as far as he gives the impression he did. But he is also quite careful sometimes to say I heard this rather than I saw it.
We know that he travelled a bit because it looks as if he spent some time in Athens. And he wound up so it was said that it seems right at Therein in Italy which is quite a long way away.
Therein was a very interesting exercise. With all the intercity jealousies and rivalries in Greece, it was a Panhellenic settlement with people from all the different cities coming together. That’s part of his project being interested in the different cities. Inevitably, it didn’t necessarily go as smoothly as all that.
They were not necessarily greeted with total acclaim by the people already in Italy. And there was also a certain amount of struggle between the different city contingents in Therein itself.
Top4. Historical figures of Greeks tragedy, Herodotus is the person you would have most like to be. Why is that?
I think it has his capacity always to be fascinated with something that is new. You get the impression of somebody who really likes a conversation and to be wide-eyed as he is told things. And yet, he keeps very critical not to say cynical part of the brain as well. He says, I will say what I heard but I don’t have to believe it.
Top5. Historical figures of Greeks tragedy, Why did you choose Euripides and not Sophocles? Is he more out there?
That’s maybe more of an image than reality. Euripides we are fond to read is the one who shakes things up whereas Sophocles is more serene. But Sophocles can shake things up too.
There is a story told in one of the modern books that I have chosen of Gladstone the prime minister asking the Cambridge classicist Jane Harrison who her favourite Greek author was. The answer was supposed to be Homer whom Gladstone had written a lot about and greatly admired and she said, Euripides. The conversation stopped dead. Euripides was far too much of a shaker-upper.
But I think there is something that we can still feel in Euripides’s plays. Perhaps it’s not too far away from some of the things I was saying about Herodotus where you monitor your own prejudices. You feel uneasy and makes people uneasy still I think either in the theatre or in reading. It’s a shocking play It has very difficult to feel comfortable at the end of it.