In a Nutshell

Antigone in front of the dead Polynices

Sophocles is probably the greatest dramatist in the history of civilization, with the obvious exception of Shakespeare. He lived for ninety years, his life spanning almost the entirety of the fifth century B.C., from 496 to 406. During his long life, which seems to have been spent entirely in Athens, he witnessed both the rise [...]

Sophocles is probably the greatest dramatist in the history of civilization, with the obvious exception of Shakespeare. He lived for ninety years, his life spanning almost the entirety of the fifth century B.C., from 496 to 406. During his long life, which seems to have been spent entirely in Athens, he witnessed both the rise [...]

As with The Iliad, Homer begins The Odyssey with a prayer to his Muse, the supernatural spirit of creativity, for the inspiration to tell the story of Odysseus well. He begins by recounting that Odysseus’ men “were destroyed by their own wild recklessness” and then sets the theological scene for the whole epic in the [...]

[Editor's Note: This is the first in an ongoing series of articles that will explain the great works of literature “in a nutshell.”] Sing, Muse, of Achilles’ anger and its devastation…and of the will of Zeus which was accomplished. The opening lines of Homer’s epic The Iliad say it all. In these first few words, [...]

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