The word "tragedy" is bandied about so much nowadays that it has become devalued. Any death, accident, or painful occurrence is routinely labeled "tragic". But if you want to understand the true meaning of tragedy, read this book! Theseus is a hero - a difficult idea for modern people to accept, in our prosaic times - and Mary Renault does a brilliant job of showing us his heroism, rather than just telling us about it. When danger threatens, when a firm hand is needed, Theseus instinctively takes over; and he always assumes, as he has done since early childhood, that one day the god Poseidon Earthshaker will demand his life in return for his people's safety.