Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Reception and Performance of Euripides' HeraklesReasoning Madness$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kathleen Riley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199534487

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199534487.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2020

The Herakles complex: a Senecan diagnosis of the ‘Family Annihilator’

The Herakles complex: a Senecan diagnosis of the ‘Family Annihilator’

Chapter:
(p.279) 9 The Herakles complex: a Senecan diagnosis of the ‘Family Annihilator’
Source:
The Reception and Performance of Euripides' Herakles
Author(s):

Kathleen Riley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199534487.003.0010

This chapter, which focuses on Archibald MacLeish's Herakles and Simon Armitage's Mister Heracles, investigates the emergence, in late 20th- and early 21st-century stage adaptations of Euripides' text, of a neo-Senecan Herakles and the concurrent identification of a ‘Herakles complex’ in the heroic male psyche. MacLeish and Armitage specifically concentrate on the filicide and its cultural implications, and apply a Senecan and psychoanalytic reading to the madness and to the Euripidean sequence of labours / filicide. MacLeish draws a frightening analogy between Herakles Kallinikos (Glorious Victor) and a Strangelovean scientist bent on dystopian perfection. Armitage portrays a maverick military man, an intuitive berserker lost in the maze of peacetime complexity. In each case the restless, overachieving hero fits the psychological profile of what American criminologists categorize as the ‘family annihilator’.

Keywords:   Archibald MacLeish, Simon Armitage, Mister Heracles, neo-Senecan, Herakles complex, filicide, Strangelovean, military, beserker, family annihilator

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .