Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kings as epic heroes, heroes of tragedy

For my Theory of the Novel class, I'm reading some excerpts by Georg Lukacs and came across this snippet which jumped out at me:
Epic heroes have to be kings for different reasons from the heroes of tragedy (although these reasons are also formal). In tragedy the hero must be a king simply because of the need to sweep all the petty causalities of life from the ontological path of destiny -- because the socially dominant figure is the only one whose conflicts, while retaining the sensuous illusion of a symbolic existence, grow solely out of the tragic problem; because only such a figure can be surrounded, even as to the forms of its external appearance, with the required atmosphere of significant isolation. (192)
No time to really do any thinking on the screen here about this quotation, but I didn't want it to get lost in my giant book. So I'm tagging it in a post here for later consumption.

Just curious -- anyone else out there using scholarly blogs for note-taking on larger research projects?

Above quote excerpted from The Theory of the Novel: A Historico-Philosophical Essay on the Forms of Great Epic Literature. in Theory of the Novel: A Historical Approach, ed. Michael McKeon. John Hopkins University Press, 2000.

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