Why are scenarios from Greek tragedy the source of so many motifs in modern thought, specifically in continental philosophy from the eighteenth century onward? Are modern writers simply mining the ancients for imagery, calling for a revival of interest, or doing something more subtle, like reprogramming the characters? Miriam Leonard explores these questions in a lecture (which is also, according to the university website, the basis of a forthcoming book) delivered at University College London:
Focusing on the works of Hegel, Nietzsche and Freud, [she] investigates how the return to antiquity was essential in formulating what we know today as the modern condition. From Hegel’s Antigone to Freud’s Oedipus, the predicament of the tragic protagonist was seen to encapsulate the metaphysical, aesthetic and psychological tensions of modernity.