Euripides' Escape-Tragedies: A Study of Helen, Andromeda, by Matthew Wright

By Matthew Wright

This is often the 1st significant severe examine of 3 overdue performs of Euripides: Helen, Andromeda, and Iphigenia one of the Taurians. Matthew Wright deals a sustained examining of the performs, arguing that they're a thematically attached trilogy. He re-examines vital subject matters resembling fantasy, geography, cultural identification, philosophy, faith, and (crucially) style. those aren't separate subject matters, yet are visible as being joined jointly to shape an elaborate nexus of rules. The ebook has implications for our view of Euripides and the tragic style as a complete.

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Extra resources for Euripides' Escape-Tragedies: A Study of Helen, Andromeda, and Iphigenia among the Taurians

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143 This corresponds very closely with his own interpretation of tragedy as an ambiguous, questioning genre, but is it correct? Can it really be maintained with certainty that Dionysus stood for all of that in classical Greece, or that there was a widely held notion of something called ‘the Dionysiac’? 144 141 Plut. Quaest. Conviv. 615a is often quoted in relation to this problem: he represents the view that tragedy had nothing to do with Dionysus (oÛd†n prÏß tÏn DiÎnuson). Also see: Winkler and Zeitlin (1990); Easterling (1997b) 43–53; Friedrich (1996); Seaford (1994) and (1996); Vernant and Vidal-Naquet (1988) 181–8.

A) Form. 74 Tragedies were exhibited competitively at the City Dionysia, the Athenian festival of Dionysus which took place annually in the month of Elaphebolion (March). 76 Tragedies were performed by either two or (by the time of Sophocles77) three male actors and a chorus of perhaps 73 Aristotle (Poet. 1447a16–18) says that genres differ in three respects, what he calls ‘medium’, ‘materials’ and ‘mode’ (diafvrousi d† åll&lwn tris≤n, ∂ g¤r t0i gvnei ‰tvroiß mime∏sqai ∂ t0i 1tera ∂ t0i ‰tvrwß).

Although the terms ‘tragedy’ and ‘the tragic’ in themselves may not have very much meaning, it makes all the difference to call Helen, Andromeda and Iphigenia ‘tragedies’. Genre will not provide us with magical elucidation of the plays, but it will profoundly affect the way in which we look at them. The critical tradition, as we have seen, has consistently failed to take the escape-tragedies seriously. Tragedies are (as Aristotle says) serious dramas: and the relabelling as ‘un-tragic’ of plays which one does not like is simply an excuse to dismiss them without giving them substantial, profound consideration.

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