It’s a rainy day here at the beginning of a rainy week, so Pippin is hitting the folktales pretty hard. What do you like to read on a rainy day?
A soldier returns home from battle but has brought the war with him. He stares off into the distance, unable to take joy in his family or friends, still hyperalert to threats he no longer faces. Unable to heal his invisible wound, he takes his own life.
This isn’t a tragic news story about a veteran coming back from Afghanistan with a case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s a summary of the Greek play “Ajax,” which is more than 2,000 years old (“Ancient warrior myths help veterans fight PTSD“).
Since I touched on PTSD in the classics in the last post and it is Memorial Day, it seemed only right to share this article I stumbled upon about how ancient myths, plays, and literary works are helping veterans heal, cope, and transition after coming home from war. I actually studied this at length in school, particularly in several epic literature classes, a class on genocide and reconciliation, a class on Ancient Ireland, and a class on combat trauma and how it relates to Ancient Greek theatre, most of them taught by Professor Robert Meagher of Hampshire College, who specializes in this (among other things). Continue reading