Ancient Medieval Literature

Download The Art of Euripides: Dramatic Technique and Social Context by Donald J. Mastronarde PDF

By Donald J. Mastronarde

ISBN-10: 052176839X

ISBN-13: 9780521768399

During this booklet Professor Mastronarde attracts at the seventeen surviving tragedies of Euripides, in addition to the fragmentary is still of his misplaced performs, to discover key subject matters within the interpretation of the performs. It investigates their relation to the Greek poetic culture and to the social and political buildings in their unique environment, aiming either to be responsive to the good number of the corpus and to spot commonalities throughout it. In studying such subject matters as style, structural ideas, the refrain, the gods, rhetoric, and the portrayal of girls and males, this examine highlights the ways that viewers responses are manipulated by using plot constructions and the multiplicity of viewpoints expressed. It argues that the dramas of Euripides, via their dramatic method, pose a robust problem to basic formulations of norms, to the studying of constant human personality, and to the hunt for simple task and closure.

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When choral myth is divorced from such a frame or proportionately overwhelms any framing, the “lesson” of the story is even more indeterminate or in need 60 61 62 63 The overall approach to the plays’ didactic function espoused by Gregory 1991 has struck many reviewers as less convincing than the individual perceptions in the analysis of the plays she handles. The most subtle presentation of the case for the didactic functions of tragedy is offered in Croally 1994: 1–69 and 2005. A skillful example of this type of approach is Heath 1987b.

For different reservations about the democratic affiliation of tragedy, see Rhodes 2003 and Kurke 1998. The classic statements of the opposing views are Henderson 1991 (for the presence of women) and Goldhill 1994 (cf. Goldhill 1997); for the evidence see also Csapo and Slater 1995: 286–7. Current debates: tragedy, democracy, and teaching 17 The relation of tragedy to civic religion and to political and class structures is, in fact, quite hard to pin down. Through the placement of tragic performances within festivals of Dionysus sponsored by the city or demes, there are obvious points of contact both with the experience of civic religious practices and with the articulation and display of the political order.

Hecuba attempts to persuade Odysseus to relent, and he refutes her arguments. Polyxena refuses to beg for life, seeing death as more honorable than living on as a slave. Soon the herald Talthybius comes to tell Hecuba of Polyxena’s bravery in facing death and invite her to come and attend to the corpse. A servant sent to fetch water for the funeral preparations brings back a body she found washed up on the shore, Polydorus. Hecuba laments for her son briefly until Agamemnon appears. She then appeals to him to assist her in punishing Polymestor for his treachery.

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