This collection of essays aims to explore fundamental questions about God, human nature, and political life through careful readings of the Greek poets, the Hebrew Bible, and Shakespeare. The volume investigates the abiding tension between the Hebraic and the Hellenic dimensions of the Western soul through an examination of profound literary, philosophic, and theological reflections on topics as various as friendship, marriage, tyranny, sovereignty, sin, forgiveness, comedy, tragedy, and contemplation. Offered in honor of Mera J. Flaumenhaft, the essays reflect the intellectual rigor, moral seriousness, and disciplined imagination of her scholarship and teaching.
Chapter 1: Professor or Friend? On the Intention and Manner of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, by Leon R. Kass Chapter 2: Schiller's "Wily Odysseus"-A Poetic Hint-, by Gisela Berns Chapter 3: Recognizing Odysseus: The Role of Signs in Odyssey 19-23, by Margaret Kirby Chapter 4: Logos and Voice in Sophocles' Ajax, by Arlene Saxonhouse Chapter 5: Civic Friendship in the Philoctetes, by Paul Ludwig Chapter 6. Defeat into Victory: The Strategy of Odysseus in Sophocles' Ajax and Philoctetes, by Adam Schulman Chapter 7: Pindar's Wisdom: Terror at the Edge, Victory Joy at the Center, by William Mullen Chapter 8. Lady Macbeth: The Tyrant's Wife, by Eva Brann Chapter 9. Guarding the Salt-Water Girdle: Lovers and Kings in Cymbeline, by Kate Havard Chapter 10: Falstaff Riseth Up, by Louis Petrich Chapter 11. What Makes a Kingdom? Plants, Poetry, and Politics in Richard II, by Paul Wilford Chapter 12: Reason in Madness, or Madness in Reason? On the Political Interstices of King Lear, by Jeff Smith Chapter 13: Antony and Cleopatra: Antony's Return to Egypt, by Pamela Kraus Chapter 14. Philosophy (and Athens) in Decay: Timon of Athens, by Jan H. Blits Chapter 15: Woman and Nature: The Female Drama in the Book of Genesis, by Ronna Burger Chapter 16. The Life and Death of Aaron the Priest, by Robert Sacks Chapter 17. Beyond Sighing and Swooning: Love in the Book of Ruth, by Alan Rubenstein Chapter 18: Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Hebraic Strain of American Thought, by Wilfred McClay