Yesterday morning I read a short article by Ann Finkbeiner: The Atreides vs the Ancient Greeks.* Finkbeiner, because she read Colm Toibin’s book, House of Names, asks why Greek citizens watched plays by Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides about the dysfunctional Greek Orestes family.
The ancient stories were about that families’ involvement in incest, murder, human sacrifice, and cannibalism: certainly a revolting list.
Finkbeiner wonders why/how Greeks, the founders of civilization, “told these terrible stories over and over.” Translator, “Robert Fagles, calls it an ‘inherited infection.’
Finkbeiner concludes her essay as follows.
But maybe the ancient Greeks told these stories as a way for intelligent, perceptive, civilized people to remember the lethality if their heritage, to not forget the alternative to law and rationality is real, alive and always present.
My take is that the dramas gave them a way to look at the ego. And Shakespeare’s tragedies and histories, Macbeth certainly, do the same thing for us.
In my post Monday I offered a way to do the same thing using Course ideas. Look, stop, and listen to our ego to affirm its presence and so be able to listen to the Holy Spirit for help to act in a kind and living manner. That is a much easier and effective way to deal with the ego than sitting through a two hour or so violent drama.
*Finkbeiner’s article can be found on the web site, The Browser.