The Mourning Voice

The Mourning Voice

An Essay on Greek Tragedy
Foreword by Pietro Pucci

In The Mourning Voice, Nicole Loraux presents a radical challenge to what has become the dominant view of tragedy in recent years: that tragedy is primarily a civic phenomenon, infused with Athenian political ideology, which envisions its spectators first and foremost as citizens, members of the political collective. Instead, Loraux maintains, the spectator addressed by tragedy is the individual defined primarily in terms of his or her humanity, rather than in terms of affiliation with a political group. The plays, she says, involve the spectators in the emotional expressiveness of tragic suffering, thereby creating a theatrical identity. Aroused by the experience of suffering, the audience is reminded that it is witnessing a theatrical representation of the instability of the human condition—a state that Loraux asserts tragedy is uniquely suited to convey.

Pietro Pucci

Pietro Pucci is Goldwin Smith Professor of Classics Emeritus at Cornell University. He is the author of several books, including Odysseus Polutropos: Intertexual Readings in the "Odyssey" and the "Iliad," The Violence of Pity in Euripides' “Medea,” and Oedipus and the Fabrication of the Father: “Oedipus Tyrannus” in Modern Criticism and Philosophy.


Prize A 2010 Noteworthy Book in Industrial Relations and Labor Economics (Princeton University's Industrial Relations Section)

Euripides' Revolution under Cover
An Essay
Pietro Pucci
In this provocative book, Pietro Pucci explores what he sees as Euripides's revolutionary literary art. While scholars have long pointed to subversive elements in Euripides’s plays, Pucci goes a step further in identifying a Euripidean program of enlightened thought enacted through carefully wrought textual strategies.