Euripides: Rhesus and overenthusaistic coyotes

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Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does many things. He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (early 2021).

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    “[H]is killing recalls the old Chinese Communist saying that the nail that sticks up gets hammered down.”

    That’s actually Japanese. Deru kugi wa utareru. Also, the original (and more common, at least in Japanese) form is Deru kui wa utareru: The stake that stands out is hammered down.

    According to this Japanese-Chinese dictionary, the Chinese equivalent is Shu da zhao feng: A big tree invites the wind. Apparently this phrase is taken from the sixteenth-century novel Journey to the West, though it may have gained currency under the communists, for all I know (not much).Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    It sounds to me like Rhesus and Dolon have the same story — both fly off half-cocked and ill-prepared for the challenges they are going to face, and then reality gives them the smackdown. It also seems very Greek to hold them up as parallels to one another on opposite sides of the conflict.

    Rhesus may be prepared for a fight, but he isn’t prepared for subterfuge. Dolon is simply not prepared for the world at all. Hector should have put the kibosh on such a silly plan. Odd, though, that in both Euripedes and Homer there is an emphasis on the animalistic element ofhis story. Is there a play on words going on with his name in the original Greek?Report

  3. Avatar RTod says:

    Good post. There is for me another part of Dolan that strikes me as being so human – or maybe it’s just less *another* part and just me taking the additional half-step. It’s falling so in love for a plan that is so obviously moronic to everyone else. I cringe to think of them, but I think we all have these moments of feeling so confident about something, crashing hard, and then coming to our senses and realizing just how stupid crazy or both we must have looked to everyone that was politely nodding when we initially and proudly stated our intentions.Report

  4. Avatar North says:

    Awesome post… I myself try and embrace the philosophy “expect the worst, that way all your surprises are pleasant ones.” So I’ve managed to avoid a lot of Dolan moments. On the other hand I suspect I’m over cautious in life so I’ve probably missed some great opportunities. Risk/reward and all that rot.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to North says:

      I’ve certainly followed through on some “what the hell was I thinking?” schemes. On the other hand, who knows what I was thinking moving to Canada to marry a girl I barely knew! Somehow that one worked out.Report