Theorising and Performing Oedipus’ hamartia in Early Modern Tragedy (Italy, France, England)

Fiore, Giulia (2020) Theorising and Performing Oedipus’ hamartia in Early Modern Tragedy (Italy, France, England), [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Dese - les litteratures de l'europe unie/ european literatures/ letterature dell'europa unita, 32 Ciclo.
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Abstract

Aristotle’s Poetics locates the core of tragedy in the failure of human action: the notion of hamartia is the causal element leading to the protagonist’s downfall. The ideal tragic character, neither pre-eminently good nor bad, must arouse pity and fear by falling into adversity through a hamartia, that is the hinge of a good plot. And the best tragic plot, according to Aristotle, is Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus. However, the notion of hamartia is the subject of a still-unresolved scholarly debate, since its semantic field is ambiguous and covers a wide range of nuance: “error of judgement”, “character flaw”, “moral fault”. The interpretation of Oedipus’ hamartia played a crucial role in the Renaissance debate. The major difficulty was the attempt of reconciling hamartia with Christianity: its indeterminacy, implying that human agency can never be entirely autonomous, is not acceptable from the point of view of Christian free will. Renaissance scholars interpreted the term by showing a growing notion of moral responsibility and using different lexical variants, such as error/peccatum, errore/peccato, erreur/faute/péché, error/frailty/flaw. Moreover, they often refer to the discussion of voluntary and involuntary actions from the Nicomachean Ethics, or to the notion of Aristotelian akrasia. Hence, between the sixteenth and the seventeenth century, the theory of tragedy and the rewritings of Oedipus’ myth influence each other, thus giving birth to a debate on tragic hero’s moral responsibility and involving theological and philosophical issues, such as free will, determinism, predestination, Providence. The present dissertation discusses the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century reception of hamartia by analysing the theory and the practice of tragedy in Italy, France, and England. After a preliminary chapter discussing the debate in Antiquity, the following chapters explore the hamartia throughout Latin and vernacular translations of and commentaries on Aristotle’s Poetics, the dramatic treatises, and the reception of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus.

Abstract
Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Autore
Fiore, Giulia
Supervisore
Dottorato di ricerca
Ciclo
32
Coordinatore
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Classical Reception, Early Modern Tragedy, Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus, Aristotle's Poetics, Ancient Drama.
URN:NBN
Data di discussione
26 Marzo 2020
URI

Altri metadati

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