Sage Against the Machine: The Politics of the Deus ex Machina

Doctoral Dissertation
Thumbnail

Abstract

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.

Attributes

Attribute NameValues
Author Jordan Dorney
Contributor Catherine H. Zuckert, Research Director
Contributor Arlene Saxonhouse, Committee Member
Contributor Susan D. Collins, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Political Science
Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy
Defense Date
  • 2018-11-19

Submission Date 2018-11-21
Subject
  • Aeschylus

  • Eumenides

  • Euripides

  • Plato

  • Odyssey

  • epic

  • Oresteia

  • Homer

  • political philosophy

  • Birth of Tragedy

  • The Republic

  • Nietzsche

  • Aristotle

  • poetry

  • Medea

  • Socrates

  • Greek tragedy

Record Visibility and Access Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units
Catalog Record

Files

Please Note: You may encounter a delay before a download begins. Large or infrequently accessed files can take several minutes to retrieve from our archival storage system.