Memory and Imagination. From Aristotle's Silent Speech to Euripides' Tragic Utterances
Keywords:Memory , Imagination, Sensation, Aristotle , Euripides, Speech, Pathos
AbstractThe aim of this study is twofold: to elaborate on Aristotle’s nexus of memory, “mental speech”, and phantasia in relation to sensation pursuing the implications of such view, i.e., the relevance of the individual’s experience and the consequent individualization of memory and its content (section 1), and to look at a selection of Euripides’ tragedies (namely, Trojan Women, Iphigenia in Aulis, and Medea) where this nexus is made explicit in the characters’ utterances and exploited for the creation of pathos (section 2). I will show that Euripides uses the tragic characters’ awareness of past happy experiences (i.e., their personal memory) to deepen the sense of loss and misery that accompany their fall into misfortune; and he does this in a nontechnical way that anticipates the Aristotelian linking of memory and imagination.
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