Ancient Greek Drama for the Moderns
November 25, 2008 2:54 PM   Subscribe

"The plays can reassure a soldier, she says, 'that I am not alone, that I am not going crazy, that I am joined by the ages of warriors and their loved ones who've gone before me, and who have done what most in society have no idea our warriors do.' " The Philoctetes Project. (video available)
posted by wittgenstein (6 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I heard about this on NPR maybe an hour ago. It is indeed remarkable how applicable the plays remain. I suppose war is war - different stage and different players, but the emotions and motivations all boil down to the same things. Anger, fear, pride. Resources, pride, politics.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 2:58 PM on November 25, 2008

Anyone interested in this subject should seek out Dr. Jonathan Shay's books: Achilles in Vietnam and Odysseus in America. He's a psychiatrist whose extensive work with Vietnam vets with PTSD led him to discover deep parallels between their experiences and the Homeric plays. His observations and recommendations are worth reading for anyone interested in PTSD and/or veterans' affairs (or in Homer, for that matter).

Please, read these books and spread the word. Dr. Shay's ideas for helping to heal and prevent PTSD are both proven-effective and affordable, if we can only get Congress and the military to open up to the idea of a unit-based replacement and training system...
posted by vorfeed at 3:48 PM on November 25, 2008

Crap, sorry vorfeed.
posted by grobstein at 3:57 PM on November 25, 2008

Ah, NPRfilter.
posted by luckypozzo at 4:10 PM on November 25, 2008

wow, this reminds me so much of this excellent play I saw last week, Surrender, which is returning next January and which I recommend to anyone who might be in NYC when it is up. It's a simulation of basic infantry training, deployment in Iraq, and reintegration on the homefront.
posted by jrb223 at 8:20 PM on November 25, 2008

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