Download e-book for iPad: A Poetics of Forgiveness: Cultural Responses to Loss and by Jill Scott (auth.)

By Jill Scott (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230106242

ISBN-13: 9780230106246

ISBN-10: 1349379115

ISBN-13: 9781349379118

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Extra info for A Poetics of Forgiveness: Cultural Responses to Loss and Wrongdoing

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While peace fights to surface in this terrifying poem, anger and revenge reign supreme. Whether he learns to control it or not, Achilles’ anger remains the organizing principle at the core of the Iliad. We are left wondering whether this giant among books in Western literature is really all about getting even. Are we to conclude that revenge, not forgiveness, is at the root of our cultural consciousness, that Achilles’ seething fury is tattooed onto our collective psyche, and that this is why it erupts time and again in our private lives and on a geopolitical level?

While peace fights to surface in this terrifying poem, anger and revenge reign supreme. Whether he learns to control it or not, Achilles’ anger remains the organizing principle at the core of the Iliad. We are left wondering whether this giant among books in Western literature is really all about getting even. Are we to conclude that revenge, not forgiveness, is at the root of our cultural consciousness, that Achilles’ seething fury is tattooed onto our collective psyche, and that this is why it erupts time and again in our private lives and on a geopolitical level?

Only when his dear friend, Patroclus, is killed by Hector does he relent. Achilles’ anger toward Agamemnon does not wither, but another, greater anger takes precedent: the wrath that fuels his desire to avenge Patroclus’ death by slaying Hector. Achilles celebrates his revenge by dragging Hector’s corpse around Patroclus’ grave. But the celebration is short-lived, for King Priam comes to offer a ransom for his son’s body. 6 Although many linguistic and culturally determined barriers obscure a modern reader’s appreciation for the nuances of this anger, we nonetheless experience it as the very life juice of the poem.

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A Poetics of Forgiveness: Cultural Responses to Loss and Wrongdoing by Jill Scott (auth.)


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