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Ajax and Philoctetes by Sophocles – SOLD OUT

November 30, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

This Great Books class is sold out. Please email with your First & Last name, and phone number to be added to the waitlist.

featuring William H. Race, George L. Paddison Professor of Classics Emeritus


One of the world’s greatest poets

about Ajax:

In Greek tradition, Ajax figures as the archaic warrior who dies in shame after his betrayal by the Greeks. Sophocles turns tradition inside out, portraying Ajax’s suicide not as a disgrace but as heroism. He endows Ajax’s suicide with a meaning radically different from previous versions of the Ajax myth–Ajax is not the hero whom time has passed by, but rather the man who steps beyond time. Oxford University Press

Sophocles’ Ajax is one of the most disturbing and powerful surviving ancient tragedies. Bristol Classical Press

about Philoctetes:

Sophocles’ Philoctetes is one of the most widely read Greek tragedies today but is a complex and challenging play to interpret. Its representation of Philoctetes as a sufferer of physical and emotional pain gives it remarkable power and intensity. It juxtaposes Homeric and fifth-century institutions and values, explores honor, power and expediency as principles of personal and political life, and represents contrasts and conflicts between innocence and experience, ends and means, and the needs and demands of the individual and those of society. —Cambridge University Press

—Philoctetes is one of Sophocles’ most morally complex and penetrating plays. Oxford University Press

Though the play, written near the end of Sophocles’ career, is not as familiar to modern audiences as his Theban plays, Philoctetes grapples with issues—social, psychological, and spiritual—that remain as much a part of our lives today as they were for their original Athenian audience. —University of Wisconsin Press


Meeting Date: Tuesdays, November 30 and December 7

Cost: $40, includes a copy of the book shipped to your home

Register online or call 919.962.1544


November 30, 2021
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category: