In Paradise Lost, Adam asks, "Why do I overlive?" Adam's anguished question is the basis for a critical analysis of living too long as a neglected but central theme in Western tragic literature. Emily Wilson examines this experience in works by Milton and by four of his literary predecessors: Sophocles, Euripides, Seneca, and Shakespeare. Each of these writers composed works in which the central character undergoes unbearable suffering or loss, hopes for death, but goes on living.Mocked with Death makes clear that tragic works need not find their moral and aesthetic conclusion in death and that, in some instances, tragedy consists of living on rather than dying. Oedipus's survival at the end [Read more...]
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