Murder by Words

Authors

  • Franco Moretti

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.13133/2283-8759/17621

Keywords:

Tragedy, Civil War, Stichomythia, Poetry, Hegel

Abstract

The title of this essay comes from Hölderlin’s “Remarks on Antigone”, and the realization that in tragedy the most significant – and dangerous – acts are the words a character utters. After briefly discussing how wars and civil wars have offered the tragic imagination some of its typical materials, the essay examines two extreme cases – Sophocles’ Antigone and Shakespeare’s Macbeth – that make certain aspects of tragic form particularly clear. In their antithetical ways, Sophocles’ dialogues and Shakespeare’s soliloquies illustrate the way words accompany the course of action, especially near the turning-points of Antigone’s and Macbeth’s existence. A brief coda on Büchner’s Danton’s Death will suggest a possible nexus between tragic form and the modern perception of history.

Downloads

Published

2021-12-21

How to Cite

Moretti, F. (2021). Murder by Words. Memoria Di Shakespeare. A Journal of Shakespearean Studies, 8. https://doi.org/10.13133/2283-8759/17621

Issue

Section

Miscellany