This book is partly, then, an exploration of figures whose continued lives (Oedipus, Heracles, Lear, Macbeth, Samson and Adam) seem offensive to the presiding powers and narrative decorum of their respective plays, but which may also offer energetic forms of interest and even consolation. As such it is wonderfully persuasive, clear and accessible. It also links the notion of overliving into wider currents of thought about tragedy.
Refreshing because it stimulates the reader to rethink familiar works and to question received concepts.
An unexpectedly original contribution to a topic that would not seem any longer to admit of original contributions: the nature of the tragic as manifested in major canonical literary works from classical Antiquity and the English Renaissance.