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Pleasure in suffering: the economy of affections between Euripides' Heracles and Plato's Republic

Grant number: 23/02586-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2023
Effective date (End): April 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Classical Literatures
Principal Investigator:Christian Werner
Grantee:Pedro Henrique Cardoso Bertolino
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This project aims to understand how Euripides' Heracles conceives, represents, and articulates textual forms that point to pleasure in suffering, seeking support in images, discussions, and ideas developed by Plato in book 10 of the Republic. Its aim is the analysis of the economy of affections, especially suffering, in a classical tragedy with help of both Plato's explicit criticism and the features of his discoursive texture. The analysis will aim at Heracles' final scenes, especially the moments in which the hero's pain and suffering are represented after his recognition of the death of his children and wife, and the paragraphs of Republic 10 that discuss the affective economy of mimetic poetry. In these passages, suffering is not understood only as strange to the individual, but as something somehow desirable, a state that generates pleasure when inhabited. Thus, the approach between the two works will be made through a dialogue of sort, composed on the one hand by the concepts, metaphors, and vocabulary unfolded by Plato, and, on the other, by the forms, figures, images, phonic textures, and other resources that accentuate the complex relationship between pleasure and suffering present in Heracles.

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