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Tragic parrhesia

Carter, D. (2018) Tragic parrhesia. In: Villaceque, N. (ed.) A l'Assemblée comme au théâtre. Pratiques délibératives des Anciens, perceptions et résonances modernes. Hors serie. Presses Universitaires de Rennes, Rennes, pp. 91-109. ISBN 9782753573116

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In this paper I explore Greek tragedy's self-conscious engagement with a characteristically Athenian culture of argument and debate. In tragedies set away from Athens it is frequently the case that a weaker figure has to negotiate a contract that allows him or her to speak frankly (with parrhesia) before a more powerful figure. At Athens, by contrast, parrhesia is exercised by people with the status and confidence to speak. Only in the former case can we consider parrhesia to be a right, in the limited sense that a contract imposes duty on someone else to listen. In the latter case, there is no right to speak: parrhesia is an attribute of the citizen. In both cases the ability to speak with parrhesia is contingent on the relative social standing of the speaker.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Classics
ID Code:83387
Publisher:Presses Universitaires de Rennes

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