Iris Murdoch: The Time of the Angels

(2070 words)
  • Tammy Grimshaw (Universidad de Jaen)

The Time of the Angels was heavily influenced by Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy and likewise contrasts the Apollonian world of reason, clarity and morality with the Dionysian realm of irrationality, emotionalism and formlessness. Murdoch portrays this conflict in her characterisations of the two male protagonists, Marcus Fisher, a headmaster who is a Platonist and writer of a Nietzschean-style treatise on moral philosophy entitled “Morality in a World without God” (19), and his older brother Carel Fisher, an Anglican cleric who professes “to be the priest of no God” (182). In this novel, Murdoch plays out the central concern of her moral philosophy, namely the search for meaning in a world without God. …

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Grimshaw, Tammy. "The Time of the Angels". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 February 2004
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]