Euripides' interest in the psychology and social position of women is well known. Of the great Greek playwrights, he most directly reflects contemporary philosophical and social debates, and his work is of great value as a source for social history. The important new studies in this volume explore Euripides' treatment of sexuality and Greek ideals of women's behaviour. Using a wide range of analytic techniques, seven scholars direct new light not only on Euripides' own views of women but also on the ideals and preoccupations of his contemporaries in this area. Athenian women of the classical period were used, in Plato's phrase, 'to a life in the shadows'. This book helps us to see how far the influence of these cloistered women extended into the sunlit world of men.
Set at the end of the Trojan war, "Euripides' Trojan Women" depicts the women of Troy as they wait to be taken into slavery. While choral songs recall the death-throes of the great city, the scenes between the old queen, Hekabe, and the women of her family explore the consequences of the defeat, from the rape of Cassandra, through the triumphant self-exculpation of Helen, to the pitiful death of the child Astyanax, who is thrown from the walls of his ravaged city. Barbara Goff sets the play in its historical, dramatic and literary contexts, and provides a scene-by-scene analysis which brings out the pace and intellectual vigour of the play. The main themes are fully discussed, and the book also introduces readers to the issues that have divided critics, such as the extent to which the play responds to the historical events of the Peloponnesian War. The final chapter, which deals with the reception of the play, offers new insights into several modern works.
In this provocative book, Pietro Pucci explores what he sees as Euripides’s revolutionary literary art. While scholars have long pointed to subversive elements in Euripides’s plays, Pucci goes a step further in identifying a Euripidean program of enlightened thought enacted through carefully wrought textual strategies. The driving force behind this program is Euripides’s desire to subvert the traditional anthropomorphic view of the Greek gods—a belief system that in his view strips human beings of their independence and ability to act wisely and justly. Instead of fatuous religious beliefs, Athenians need the wisdom and the strength to navigate the challenges and difficulties of life. Throughout his lifetime, Euripides found himself the target of intense criticism and ridicule. He was accused of promoting new ideas that were considered destructive. Like his contemporary, Socrates, he was considered a corrupting influence. No wonder, then, that Euripides had to carry out his revolution "under cover." Pucci lays out the various ways the playwright skillfully inserted his philosophical principles into the text through innovative strategies of plot development, language and composition, and production techniques that subverted the traditionally staged anthropomorphic gods.
A Companion to Euripides is an up-to-date, centralized assessment of Euripides and his work, drawing from the most recently published texts, commentaries, and scholarship, and offering detailed discussions and provocative interpretations of his extant plays and fragments. The most contemporary scholarship on Euripides and his oeuvre, featuring the latest texts and commentaries Leading scholars in the field discuss all of Euripides’ plays and their afterlife with breadth and depth A dedicated section focuses on the reception of Euripidean drama since the Hellenistic Original and provocative interpretations of Euripides and his plays forge important paths of in future scholarship
Metapoetry in Euripides is the first detailed study of the self-conscious literary devices applied within Euripidean drama and how these are interwoven with issues of thematic importance, whether social, theological, or political. In the volume, Torrance argues that Euripides employed a complex system of metapoetic strategies in order to draw the audience's attention to the novelty of his compositions. Torrance also looks at and compares metapoetictechniques used in tragedy, satyr-drama, and old comedy to demonstrate that the Greek tragedians commonly exploited metapoetic strategies, and that metapoetry is more pervasive in Euripides than in the other tragedians. While Euripides shares some metapoetic techniques with old comedy, these remain implicit in histragedies (but not in his satyr-dramas).
Exploring Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World
Author: Mark Masterson
Looking at sex and sexuality from a variety of historical, sociological and theoretical perspectives, as represented in a variety of media, Sex in Antiquity represents a vibrant picture of the discipline of ancient gender and sexuality studies, showcasing the work of leading international scholars as well as that of emerging talents and new voices. Sexuality and gender in the ancient world is an area of research that has grown quickly with often sudden shifts in focus and theoretical standpoints. This volume contextualises these shifts while putting in place new ideas and avenues of exploration that further develop this lively field or set of disciplines. This broad study also includes studies of gender and sexuality in the Ancient Near East which not only provide rich consideration of those areas but also provide a comparative perspective not often found in such collections. Sex in Antiquity is a major contribution to the field of ancient gender and sexuality studies.
Examines the ideas of justice in Euripidean tragedy, which reveals the human experience of justice to be paradoxical, and reminds us of the need for humility in our unceasing quest for a just world. Responding to Plato's challenge to defend the political thought of poetic sources, Marlene K. Sokolon explores Euripides's understanding of justice in nine of his surviving tragedies. Drawing on Greek mythological stories, Euripides examines several competing ideas of justice, from the ancient ethic of helping friends and harming enemies to justice as merit and relativist views of might makes right. Reflecting Dionysus, the paradoxical god of Greek theater, Euripides reveals the human experience of understanding justice to be limited, multifaceted, and contradictory. His approach underscores the value of understanding justice not only as a rational idea or theory, but also as an integral part of the continuous and unfinished dialogue of political community. As the first book devoted to Euripidean justice, Seeing with Free Eyes adds to the growing interest in how citizens in democracies use storytelling genres to think about important political questions, such as "What is justice?" Marlene K. Sokolon is Associate Professor of Political Science at Concordia University, Canada. Her books include Political Emotions: Aristotle and the Symphony of Reason and Emotion.
Erotic Experience and Sexual Ethics in Ancient Greece and Rome
Author: Martha C. Nussbaum
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sex is beyond reason, and yet we constantly reason about it. So, too, did the peoples of ancient Greece and Rome. But until recently there has been little discussion of their views on erotic experience and sexual ethics. The Sleep of Reason brings together an international group of philosophers, philologists, literary critics, and historians to consider two questions normally kept separate: how is erotic experience understood in classical texts of various kinds, and what ethical judgments and philosophical arguments are made about sex? From same-sex desire to conjugal love, and from Plato and Aristotle to the Roman Stoic Musonius Rufus, the contributors demonstrate the complexity and diversity of classical sexuality. They also show that the ethics of eros, in both Greece and Rome, shared a number of commonalities: a focus not only on self-mastery, but also on reciprocity; a concern among men not just for penetration and display of their power, but also for being gentle and kind, and for being loved for themselves; and that women and even younger men felt not only gratitude and acceptance, but also joy and sexual desire. Contributors: * Eva Cantarella * Kenneth Dover * Chris Faraone * Simon Goldhill * Stephen Halliwell * David M. Halperin * J. Samuel Houser * Maarit Kaimio * David Konstan * David Leitao * Martha C. Nussbaum * A. W. Price * Juha Sihvola
What should we make of the prominence of female characters in the plays of Euripides? Not, Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz concludes, that he was either a misogynist or a feminist before his time. Tracking the relationship between male anxiety and female desire in his drama, she demonstrates in this rich and incisive book that Euripides' plays support a structure of male dominance while simultaneously inscribing female strength.
Art, Gender, and Commemoration in Alcestis, Hippolytus, and Hecuba
Author: Charles Segal
Publisher: Duke University Press
Where is the pleasure in tragedy? This question, how suffering and sorrow become the stuff of aesthetic delight, is at the center of Charles Segal's new book, which collects and expands his recent explorations of Euripides' art. Alcestis, Hippolytus, and Hecuba, the three early plays interpreted here, are linked by common themes of violence, death, lamentation and mourning, and by their implicit definitions of male and female roles. Segal shows how these plays draw on ancient traditions of poetic and ritual commemoration, particularly epic song, and at the same time refashion these traditions into new forms. In place of the epic muse of martial glory, Euripides, Segal argues, evokes a muse of sorrows who transforms the suffering of individuals into a "common grief for all the citizens," a community of shared feeling in the theater. Like his predecessors in tragedy, Euripides believes death, more than any other event, exposes the deepest truth of human nature. Segal examines the revealing final moments in Alcestis, Hippolytus, and Hecuba, and discusses the playwright's use of these deaths--especially those of women--to question traditional values and the familiar definitions of male heroism. Focusing on gender, the affective dimension of tragedy, and ritual mourning and commemoration, Segal develops and extends his earlier work on Greek drama. The result deepens our understanding of Euripides' art and of tragedy itself.
The Tragedy of the Implicit in Euripides' Hippolytus
Author: Hanna Roisman
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
In this valuable book, Hanna M. Roisman provides a uniquely comprehensive look at Euripides' Hippolytus. Roisman begins with an examination of the ancient preference for the implicit style, and suggests a possible reading of Euripides' first treatment of the myth which would account for the Athenian audience's reservations about his Hippolytus Veiled. She proceeds to analyze significant scenes in the play, including Hippolytus' prayer to Artemis, Phaedra's delirium, Phaedra's "confession" speech, and the interactions between Theseus and Hippolytus. Concluding with a discussion of the meaning of the tragic in Hippolytus, Roisman questions the applicability in this case of the idea of the tragic flaw. Nothing Is as It Seems includes extensive comparisons of Euripides' play with the Phaedra of Seneca. This is a very important book for students and scholars of Greek tragedy, literature, and rhetoric.
A recurring and significant theme in ancient Greek literature is that of returns and returning, chiefly - but by no means only - of mythical Greek heroes from Troy. One main, and certainly the most 'marked', ancient Greek word for 'return' is nostos (plural nostoi), from which is derived the English 'nostalgia'. Nostos-related traditions were important ingredients of colonial foundation myths and the theme runs through both ancient Greek prose and poetry from Homer's Odyssey to Lykophron's Alexandra, also leaving traces in the historical record through the archaeological and epigraphical commemoration of nostoi, which played a central part in defining Greek ethnicity and crystallizing personal and communal identities. This volume offers a truly interdisciplinary exploration of the concept of nostos in ancient Greek culture, which draws on its contributors' expertise in ancient Greek (and Roman) history, literature, archaeology, and religion. The chapters examine both literary and material evidence in order to achieve a better understanding of the nature of Greek settlement in the Mediterranean zone, and of sometimes equivocal Greek and Roman perceptions of home, displacement, and returning. The special problems and vocabulary of exile are explored in the long Introduction, which offers an incisive yet accessible overview of the volume's key themes and sets its range of contributions clearly in context: while two chapters are concerned in different ways with emotions and personal identity, making use of the theoretical tool of place-attachment, another demonstrates that failed nostoi can be more interesting than successful examples. Evidential absence can be as important and illuminating as presence, and mythical women, underrepresented in this regard, feature extensively in several chapters, which open up a range of new perspectives on nostos.
Brill’s Companion to Euripides, as well as presenting a comprehensive and authoritative guide to understanding Euripides and his masterworks, provides scholars and students with compelling fresh perspectives upon a broad range of issues in the field of Euripidean studies.
Examines women whose influence was positive, as well as those whose reputations were more notoriousSupremely well researched from many different historical sourcesSuperbly illustrated with photographs and drawings Women in Ancient Greece is a much-needed analysis of how women behaved in Greek society, how they were regarded, and the restrictions imposed on their actions. Given that ancient Greece was very much a man’s world, most books on ancient Greek society tend to focus on men; this book redresses the imbalance by shining the spotlight on that neglected other half. Women had significant roles to play in Greek society and culture – this book illuminates those roles. Women in Ancient Greece asks the controversial question: how far is the assumption that women were secluded and excluded just an illusion? It answers it by exploring the treatment of women in Greek myth and epic; their treatment by playwrights, poets and philosophers; and the actions of liberated women in Minoan Crete, Sparta and the Hellenistic era when some elite women were politically prominent. It covers women in Athens, Sparta and in other city states; describes women writers, philosophers, artists and scientists; it explores love, marriage and adultery, the virtuous and the meretricious; and the roles women played in death and religion. Crucially, the book is people-based, drawing much of its evidence and many of its conclusions from lives lived by historical Greek women.
“The most extensive scholarship to appear on this Greek dramatist in many years, Michelini’s work will be important to specialists and students of classical literature, literary theory, and both English and comparative literature.”—Modern Greek Studies
Eros: The Myth of Ancient Greek Sexuality is a controversial book that lays bare the meanings Greeks gave to sex. Contrary to the romantic idealization of sex dominating our culture, the Greeks saw eros as a powerful force of nature, potentially dangerous, and in need of control by society: Eros the Destroyer, not Cupid the Insipid, fired the Greek imagination.The destructiveness of eros can be seen in Greek imagery and metaphor, and in the Greeks' attitudes toward women and homosexuals. Images of love as fire, disease, storms, insanity, and violence?Top 40 song clichfor us?locate eros among the unpredictable and deadly forces of nature. The beautiful Aphrodite embodies the alluring danger of sex, while femmes fatales like Pandora and Helen represent the risky charms of female sexuality. And homosexuality typifies for the Greeks the frightening power of an indiscriminate appetite that threatens the stability of culture itself.In Eros: The Myth of Ancient Greek Sexuality, Bruce Thornton offers a uniquely sweeping and comprehensive account of ancient sexuality free of currently fashionable theoretical jargon and pretentions. In its conclusions the book challenges the distortions of much recent scholarship on Greek sexuality. And throughout it links the wary attitudes of the Greeks to our present-day concerns about love, sex, and family. What we see, finally, are the origins of some of our own views as well as a vision of sexuality that is perhaps more honest and mature than our own dangerous illusions.
Marriage is a central concern in five of the seven extant plays of the Greek tragedian Sophocles. In this pathfinding study, Kirk Ormand delves into the ways in which these plays represent and problematize marriage, thus offering insights into how Athenians thought about the institution of marriage. Ormand takes a two-fold approach. He first explores the legal and economic underpinnings of Athenian marriage, an institution designed to guarantee the legitimate continuation of patrilineal households. He then shows how Sophocles' plays Trachiniae, Electra, Antigone, Ajax, and Oedipus Tyrannus both reinforce and critique this ideology by representing marriage as a homosocial exchange between men, in which women are objects who may attempt—but always fail—to become self-acting subjects. These fresh readings provide the first systematic study of marriage in Sophocles. They draw important connections between drama and marriage as rituals concerned with controlling potentially disruptive female subjectivities.
A Study Guide for Euripides's "Hippolytus," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Drama For Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Drama For Students for all of your research needs.