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From Pattern to Dynamic

From Pattern to Dynamic

(p.117) Chapter 6 From Pattern to Dynamic
Encounters & Reflections
University of Chicago Press

This chapter is a conversation among three students—Michael, Ronna, and Robert—and their professor Seth Benardete at the University of Chicago. Benardete talks about the mistake that he came to see in his original reading of the Iliad—he had the structure of the poem but without explaining it through the plot—and repeated the mistake when he wrote his book on Herodotus. Later on, he took a divided line from Plato's Republic and used it as a pattern to understand Herodotus. When Benardete wrote on the Antigone, a similar thing happened. He began by reflecting on the difference between the private and the public. That was his reinterpretation of Hegel, but Benardete had to construe the play in more of an ancient manner than Hegel had. The discussion about pattern and plot in the chapter is connected with why Platonic dialogues are dialogic.

Keywords:   Seth Benardete, Plato, Hegel, pattern, plot, Platonic dialogues

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