The Madness of Herakles in Euripides and Sophocles

Philippe Charlier


In the ancient Greek world madness was conceived as a punishment sent by the gods to men found guilty of various sins. Heralkes, who kills his wife Megara and their sons, is the best example of Greek literature offers of the tragic consequences of mental disease. The article conducts a medical observation of Sophocles' and Euripides' descriptions of Herakles' insanity.

  Keywords: Herakles - Madness - Greek tragedy

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