Laocoon_and_His_Sons

Laocoön and His Sons

“Laocoön’s blank, tormented face seems to ask whether an ethical standard exists in the universe or whether the gods too are subject to impulse and caprice. It prefigures the agonized expression of the crucified Christ in medieval art, when he asks why God has forsaken him. The juxtaposition of beauty and horror in the Laocoön is close to decadent. It forces a mixed response of attraction and repulsion on the viewer. In late phases of culture, basic survival needs have been met, but the spiritual life is in disorder. The Laocoön represented a time very much like our own, when civic and religious traditions were breaking down and when nations felt they were in bondage to a host of intractable problems, slithering and ungraspable.” — Camille Paglia, Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laoco%C3%B6n_and_His_Sons