‘And maybe in your case there would be no Herakles…’: Herakles in C.P. Cavafy and Yiannis Ritsos
Despite the hero’s popularity in classical poetry, Herakles in modern-Greek poetry has so far attracted little scholarly attention. This chapter maps the presence of Herakles and investigates his role in modern-Greek poetry by focusing on the poetry of Constantine P. Cavafy (1863-1933) and Yiannis Ritsos (1909-1990), two world-renowned modern-Greek poets, whose work coincides with major political and social events of the troubled twentieth century. From British colonial Alexandria at the turn of the century to the islands of Leros and Samos under the Colonels’ Junta in the early 1970s Herakles, detached from his glorious mythical past, undergoes various poetic transformations to cater for a wide range of poetic and/or political purposes.
Provisional content for The Modern Hercules (Volume 1)