In argument and in action, the deus ex machina appears as arbitrary resolution. The “god from the machine,” however, regularly reveals an appreciation for the insolubility of politics and of the problems of political theory. More than affirming enduring questions that extend beyond the circumstances of Greek drama, the deus ex machina can enact, if not understand, the fact of the “perplexity” (aporia) of politics. In Chapter 1, I derive a methodology from Aristotle’s and Nietzsche’s famous critiques of the integrity of the deus ex machina. In Chapters 2 through 4, I study Homer’s Odyssey, Aeschylus’ Eumenides, and Euripides’ Medea in search of the distinctive ways those poets deploy the figure of the divine interruption of ordinary life. In Chapter 5, I defend a reading of Plato’s Republic as concluding in a philosophical iteration of the deus ex machina in the Myth of Er.
|Contributor||Susan D. Collins, Committee Member|
|Contributor||Catherine H. Zuckert, Research Director|
|Contributor||Arlene Saxonhouse, Committee Member|
|Degree Level||Doctoral Dissertation|
|Degree Discipline||Political Science|
|Departments and Units|