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Wednesday 10 August 2011

Nuts and Bolts: nemesis.

I've been ambling through the stages of Aristotle's ideas about tragedy. The first two stages can be found here and here, and now we come to nemesis.

Oh dear...

The first important thing is that Nemesis is female. The second important thing is that she's out to get you.

Well, perhaps not you, personally, but her job is to bring you down to earth with a sharp bump if you get uppitty - as heroes of tragedies (and life) tend to do.

Now, Nemesis gave birth, they say, to two sets of twins: firstly Castor and Pollux, and secondly that sweet pair Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra.
(Good grief, you wouldn't want to accept an invitation to their Christmas get-togethers.)

Nemesis, it is also said, used to be rather mellower: she started off as the spirit of just deserts. 
I suppose having a family like that, though, is enough to sour anyone's temper.

Word To Use Today: nemesis. This word comes from the Greek work nemein, which means to give what is due.

Hilariously, nemein is also the origin of the word economy.

1 comment:

  1. Somewhere I heard a nice thing...don't know where but it's stuck in my head. Maybe it's from a Marx brothers movie. "He's the Nemesis on my premises."


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