Moral Dilemmas in Greek Tragedies: a Discussion of Aeschylus’s Agamemnon and Sophokles’s Antigone
By looking at the situations faced by the protagonists of two classic plays (in purely philosophical terms rather than literary-critical or historical), I try to shed light on what it means to face an insoluble moral dilemma, what it might mean to deal with it, and how the dilemma can reveal certain crucial information about the decision-maker (i) to us readers-spectators, (ii) to other characters in the play who witness, or are implicated by, the incident, (iii) as well as, and perhaps most importantly, to the protagonist himself. In so doing, I distinguish the above dilemmas from moral-prudential dilemmas and from apparent dilemmas constituted by the mere lack of epistemological access. Indeed, I generally resist the various reductive approaches characteristic of much analytic moral philosophy, and challenge the notion of a uniquely right answer to which all rational moral agents can be held accountable.
Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
III (2001) 1
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Christopher Cowley, "Moral Dilemmas in Greek Tragedies: a Discussion of Aeschylus’s Agamemnon and Sophokles’s Antigone", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, III (2001) 1