Il segreto più profondo di Olimpia è racchiuso in quest'unica nota cristallina: lottare è un gioco, vivere è un gioco, morire è un gioco; profitti e perdite non sono che distinzioni passeggere, ma il gioco pretende tutte le nostre forze, e la sorte accetta, come posta, unicamente i nostri cuori.- Pellegrina e straniera - L'ultima olimpica
Sexual frenzy is our compensation for the tedious moments we must suffer in the passage of life. 'Nothing in excess,' professed the ancient Greeks. Why if I spend half the month in healthy scholarship and pleasant sleep, shouldn't I be allowed the other half to howl at the moon and pillage the groins of Europe's great beauties?
The sciences were financially supported, honoured everywhere, universally pursued; they were like tall edifices supported by strong foundations. Then the Christian religion appeared in Byzantium and the centres of learning were eliminated, their vestiges effaced and the edifice of Greek learning was obliterated. Everything the ancient Greeks had brought to light vanished, and the discoveries of the ancients were altered out of recognition.
Tragedy's language stresses that whatever is within us is obscure, many faceted, impossible to see. Performance gave this question of what is within a physical force. The spectators were far away from the performers, on that hill above the theatre. At the centre of their vision was a small hut, into which they could not see. The physical action presented to their attention was violent but mostly unseen. They inferred it, as they inferred inner movement, from words spoken by figures whose entrances and exits into and out of the visible space patterned the play. They saw its results when that facade opened to reveal a dead body. This genre, with its dialectics of seen and unseen, inside and outside, exit and entrance, was a simultaneously internal and external, intellectual and somatic expression of contemporary questions about the inward sources of harm, knowledge, power, and darkness.
CHORUS: You that live in my ancestral Thebes, behold this Oedipus,- him who knew the famous riddles and was a man most masterful; not a citizen who did not look with envy on his lot- see him now and see the breakers of misfortune swallow him!Look upon that last day always. Count no mortal happy till he has passed the final limit of his life secure from pain.
OEDIPUS: Upon the murderer I invoke this curse-whether he is one man and all unknown, or one of many- may he wear out his life in misery to miserable doom! If with my knowledge he lives at my hearthI pray that I myself may feel my curse. On you I lay my charge to fulfill all this for me, for the God, and for this land of ours destroyed and blighted, by the God forsaken.
TEIRESIAS: I tell you, king, this man, this murderer(whom you have long declared you are in search of, indicting him in threatening proclamationas murderer of Laius)- he is here. In name he is a stranger among citizensbut soon he will be shown to be a citizentrue native Theban, and he'll have no joyof the discovery: blindness for sightand beggary for riches his exchange, he shall go journeying to a foreign countrytapping his way before him with a stick. He shall be proved father and brother bothto his own children in his house; to herthat gave him birth, a son and husband both; a fellow sower in his father's bedwith that same father that he murdered. Go within, reckon that out, and if you find memistaken, say I have no skill in prophecy.
I recognized the handwriting, and my heart gave a skip; when I opened it I got a turn, for it began, 'To my beloved Hector,' and I thought, by God she's cheating on me, and has sent me the wrong letter by mistake. But in the second line was a reference to Achilles, and another to Ajax, so I understood she was just addressing me in terms which she accounted fitting for a martial paladin; she knew no better. It was a common custom at that time, in the more romantic females, to see their soldier husbands and sweethearts as Greek heroes, instead of the whore-mongering, drunken clowns most of them were. However, the Greek heroes were probably no better, so it was not far off the mark.