Word of the Day Archive
Thursday August 9, 2001
agon \AH-gahn; ah-GOHN\ , noun:
A struggle or contest; conflict; especially between the protagonist and antagonist in a literary work.
Conflicts about moral claims are part of what it means to be human, and a political ideal stripped of sentimentality and the utopian temptation is one committed to the notion that political life is a permanent agon between clashing, even incompatible goods.
-- Jean Bethke Elshtain, Real Politics
It is the irresolvable love-hate agon between men and women that drives all cultures.
-- Lawrence Osborne, "False goddess", Salon, June 28, 2000
Almost every poem Auden wrote in the weeks before and after his arrival in New York portrayed the agon of an artist in combat with his gift.
-- Edward Mendelson, Later Auden
Agon comes from Greek agon, "a struggle or contest." It is related to agony.