Stop, my boy, and respect, my child, this breast on which often, in slumber you sucked with your gums the nourishing milk Where henceforth shall be the oracles of Loxias, declared at Pytho and the covenant you pledged on oath? Count all men your enemies rather than the gods! It is this change of role that is salient.
They resemble the spectators who are sitting on the steps of the theater, even though they have been the violent agents of the action they now recollect; and yet, as spectators recollecting the scene, they affect, by emotional osmosis, the audience. The effect on the audience is a sharp intensification of their emotions, since their recollection of the Aeschilean scene merges with the Euripidean re-making. They receive a visceral reaction of pity. But also it shows his need or desire to transform its religious and moral agenda.
The scene opposes an ancestral and irrefutable feeling of awe for the maternal appeal and the religious terror for the divine will. Justice may be hard, morally difficult, but it remains justice. O Phoebus! Obscure aphanta is the justice dikaia you intoned, but evident phanera the anguish you brought to pass… Eur. To murder her [Clytemnestra] was right dikaia , but not your deed. And Phoebus, Phoebus he is my lord and I keep silent. Wise sophos though he is, he gave you an unwise bidding Eur. In other words the acting out of a physical and violent confrontation has been turned into the exhibition of virtuoso voices.
Meltzer 24 seems to suggests, but is emptied out; and its distorted fragments become the pretext for a vocal musical performance. They, on the contrary, die as free persons, eager to save their genos, their citizens, to conquer glory, and to escape the abysmal conditions of their lives. Their death is the extreme and unique remedy pharmakon: Heraclidae She is most unexpectedly and arbitrarily requested by Achilles as a sign of the honour the Achaeans grant him before moving back home.
As young men move closer to grasp her and hold her during the sacrifice, she dismisses them Hec. O Argives, sackers of my own city, I welcome my death. Let no one touch my body, for I am ready to offer my neck. I am a princess: I blush to bear, among the dead, the name of slave. And with her robe of saffron dye falling downwards she was shooting each of the sacrificers with a dart of pity from her eyes, conspicuous as in a picture, wishing to address each by name….
Even so, it evokes the violence of the event. The cruelty of the act is greatly emphasized. He begins by saying that he receives a double gain of tears by narrating the event: first he wept in pity when he saw the scene and now, for the second time, as he recounts it This lightening of the pain comes to Hecuba from her pity and admiration for Polyxena, wrenching herself away from the miseries of life. The text calls attention to itself, cruelly abandoning the real Iphigenia to the series of pictures. Her beauty or impressive force of the artistic image is evoked by the epithet prepousa , that extolls her standing out, like, for instance, the moon among the stars in the night.
This beautification indeed exalts moral and spiritual features — the sublime nobility, the disregard of female shame in order to die like a hero: the statuesque, godlike beauty in this context becomes a visible, graphic expression of those motifs. Aeschylus had showed to his audience the cruelty of the sacrificers who denied pity to the fierce appeal of Polyxena.
First, the violence of the Greeks, we are told, shall be punished by the gods themselves, even if it remains hardly believable on Euripides stage. The Trojans were more comfortable than the Greeks. For Euripides, what counts in human experience is the measure of pains and sorrows that marks it, and the cathartic ways to cure them.
The violence of her gesture, notwithstanding its paradoxical tension, provokes the pity of the audience, a pity that will be viscerally painful and yet also remedial. For, of course, the spectators do not need to die, but they need to be ready, if they are wise and noble, to move from their pity to self-pity, and therefore they too offer themselves up to the poison and remedy contained in the drama: they will envision the outrageousness of life, they will be prepared to the injustice, to the forms of violence exiles, diseases, etc that may occur to them.
They will see their own death. They receive various forms of cathartic remedy: one of these forms is announced by Theseus, in one Euripidean fragment: they will suffer less at the moment when the real pain stings In all these cases, too, the savage brutality of the human sacrifice is transformed into an elated offering of the self to death, into a desired noble gesture, into an edifying, triumphant representation of that self-denial. Furthermore, as I have already indicated, the text by instilling a sort of preparedness for the toils of being in the world, strengthens the moral resistance; and finally, other important cathartic effects of pity, as I will suggest later, work as a positive drug.
Even in the case of Iphigenia in Iphigenia in Aulis , the issue of self-sacrifice acquires other, perhaps more important, features than its being presented as an act of patriotism. None of the other tragedians mentions so constantly and so elaborately these gifts of the Muses.
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Euripides - Playwright - Biography
Salmon, eds. New York: Routledge. Frame, D. Friis Johansen, K. The Iliad in Early Greek Art. Copenhagen: Munksgaard. Frisone, F. Leggi e regolamenti funerari nel mondo Greco I: le fonti epigraphiche. Gagarin, M. Aeschylean Drama. Gamel, M. Gantz, T. Early Greek Myth. Garlan, Y. Slavery in Ancient Greece , trans. Very few facts of Euripides's life are known for certain. He was born in Athens, Greece, around B. His family was most likely a prosperous one; his father was named Mnesarchus or Mnesarchide, and his mother was named Cleito.
He reportedly married a woman named Melito and had three sons. Over his career as a poet and dramatist, Euripides wrote approximately 90 plays, 19 of which have survived through manuscripts. Of the three most famous tragic dramatists to come out of ancient Greece—the others being Aeschylus and Sophocles—Euripides was the last and perhaps the most influential.
Like all the major playwrights of his time, Euripides competed in the annual Athenian dramatic festivals held in honor of the god Dionysus. He first entered the festival in , and he won the first of his four victories in He was acquainted with many of the important philosophers of the 5th century B. Euripides left Athens in , when he was invited to live and write in Macedonia, Greece, by Archelaus, the Macedonian king.
He never returned to Athens; he died in Macedonia in B. Euripides was known for taking a new approach to traditional myths: he often changed elements of their stories or portrayed the more fallible, human sides of their heroes and gods. His plays commonly dwelled on the darker side of existence, with plot elements of suffering, revenge and insanity.
Their characters are often motivated by strong passions and intense emotions. Euripides often used the plot device known as "deus ex machina," where a god arrives near the conclusion of the play to settle scores and provide a resolution to the plot.