Monday, October 3, 2011

Morrisson has MORE to say?!?!?

In my haste today I omitted two inter-textual connections that are worth noting in the context of my reading of the Mytilenean debate. First, on the question of societal trust as a foundation for compassion, I wonder whether this gives us insight into the dynamic that develops in the Book of Job. Fearing that they might be subject to Job's fate and no longer trusting in the security afforded by their presumed virtue, perhaps Job's friends are driven to an emotional place from which compassion for Job becomes impossible. We might search the text for signs that the three friends fear for themselves and have no room left for a compassionate consideration of Job's plight.

Secondly, a comment Professor Meyer made prior to lecture reminded me of something I had been thinking of during the lectures she shared with Professor Maya on The Eumenides. In this play the notion of a deliberated jury trial seems to be central to the very idea of the city - it marks a kind of differentiation of the city's code from the earth's (Furies') code. Thucydides' interrogation of speech/deliberation as the basis for action (both just and expedient) might provide a useful tool for our understanding of why it is so important for Athena to insist on a trial in this post-Persian-War Athenian tragedy. Is Aeschylus insisting on the importance of democratic institutions even though their cost (to the Earth) may initially appear to be very high? We might get a little more on this in The Frogs.
—Iain Morrisson