Home » The Poetics of Old Age in Greek Epic Lyric and Tragedy by Thomas M. Falkner
The Poetics of Old Age in Greek Epic Lyric and Tragedy Thomas M. Falkner

The Poetics of Old Age in Greek Epic Lyric and Tragedy

Thomas M. Falkner

Published September 1st 1996
ISBN : 9780806127989
Paperback
368 pages
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 About the Book 

A striking feature of ancient Greek literature is its preoccupation with old age. Yet scholars have been slow to explore the subject, a possible reflection of the ageism that characterizes both ancient Greece and our times. This groundbreaking studyMoreA striking feature of ancient Greek literature is its preoccupation with old age. Yet scholars have been slow to explore the subject, a possible reflection of the ageism that characterizes both ancient Greece and our times. This groundbreaking study by Thomas M. Falkner remedies the oversight by providing the most extensive treatment of old age in Greek literature to date. Focusing on three major genres: epic, lyric, and tragedy, Falkner examines the representation of old age and the elderly in a range of texts, including Homers Iliad and Odyssey, Sapphos lyrics, and Sophocles last tragedy, Oedipus at Colonus.Greek literary representations of old age suggest a society in which the status of the elderly is being renegotiated. Although the tradition makes reference to the proverbial wisdom of old age, it portrays the elderly as a group politically disempowered, marginalized, and subject to neglect, scorn, and suffering. Yet according to Falkner, literature does not merely reflect social reality- it also represents a complex interaction between cultural and poetic traditions, with the capacity to subvert as well as reflect dominant views.Falkners study is interdisciplinary, combining insights from literary criticism, gerontology, anthropology, and womens studies. With its unique perspective, this book illuminates meanings of old age that are of continuing relevance.