Becoming Achilles: Child-sacrifice, War, and Misrule in the lliad and Beyond - Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches (Paperback)Richard Holway (author)
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Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of pages: 270
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 231 x 154 x 19 mm
There exists a view that in order to be truly great you must sacrifice domestic happiness, perhaps even your life, in pursuit of your goal. In this interesting work by Richard Holway it is argued that the Iliad encourages this unhealthy acceptance of self-destruction as the natural pre-requisite of greatness. Using a psychology-based approach, with particular reference to infant attachment theory, Holway dissects the familial patterns in and around the Iliad to explore why its warriors willingly risk death. * Bryn Mawr Classical Review *
Holway offers a reading of the Iliad focused on destructive and dysfunctional kinship relations, and above all those of father-daughter and mother-son. The anxieties of these relations are, Holway argues, ultimately redirected in a cathartic process through Achilles' savage menis. . . .This is a provocative and interesting book. * The Journal of Hellenic Studies *
Holway's book has many strengths. First among these is the novel reading of the Iliad and its background myths motivated by an interest in attachment theory. . . .Becoming Achilles is a worthy addition to the literature on the pedagogical effects of epic or tragedy. . . .Holway's book is to be recommended for the way it comes at well-worn material with a fresh perspective. More importantly, the book has much to teach us about the connection between familial and cultural violence, and the interpenetration of the micro and macro forces that shape human communities. * Polis *
By applying the current psychology of attachment theory to the Iliad, this book illuminates Homer and Greek myth. What we see is a culture that depends on and perpetuates child-sacrifice and destructive family dynamics. -- Grace Ledbetter, Swarthmore College
A profound and timeless study of the psychological consequences of being raised in a martial society that values the defense of honor-personal and collective-above all else. -- Randolph Roth, Ohio State University
This book is not only good to think with: it is also good, very good, to talk about. (From the foreword) -- Gregory Nagy, Harvard University
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