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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 15, Issue 1/2, 2005

Wisdom: Research, Education, Implementation

Karin Melis
Pages 203-209

Reading Medea and Hecuba
The Tragic in Unconditional Love

If, as I propose, Hecuba represents fate and Medea contingency, taken together they constitute as well as reveal the tragic within the tension between the ontological and empirical status of man as it is embodied in the clash between necessity and freedom. Viewing this tension within the perspective of the unconditional status of the love of the mother, I will show how both narratives belong to the realm of possibilities and cause, what Ricoeur calls “suffering for the sake of understanding”. I will argue that the phenomenon of the unconditional love of the mother is in itself tragic and open to both the appearance of both Medea and Hecuba.

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