Laocoön, Leadership and Wisdom

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Abstract

In a chapter titled “Laocoön, Leadership and Wisdom”, Robin Holt focuses on the figure of Laocoön, a Trojan priest, who, suspecting that Greek soldiers were hiding in the wooden horse left outside Troy, tried to warn his fellow citizens not to bring it into the city walls. But as he started to prod the sides with a spear the priest was dragged into the sea along with his two sons, by sea serpents who had been roused by the goddess Athena to silence him and maintain the ruse. Holt presents and interprets three different versions of this tale, the first from Virgil’s Aeneid, the second from Götfried Lessing’s interpretation of a classic sculpture depicting the story, and the third from William Blake’s verbal and visual montage. Through these different versions, Holt raises a series of questions about the persuasive force of cunning, evidential argument, aesthetic form, and contrary reasoning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLeadership and Wisdom : Narrating the Future Responsibly
EditorsWendelin Küpers, Matt Statler
Number of pages25
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge
Publication date2020
Pages136-160
Chapter7
ISBN (Print)9781138292338, 9781138292345
ISBN (Electronic)9781315232997
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Cite this

Holt, R. (2020). Laocoön, Leadership and Wisdom. In W. Küpers, & M. Statler (Eds.), Leadership and Wisdom: Narrating the Future Responsibly (pp. 136-160). New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315232997-9