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By Donald J. Mastronarde

ISBN-10: 0511677405

ISBN-13: 9780511677403

ISBN-10: 052176839X

ISBN-13: 9780521768399

During this publication 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 constructions in their unique surroundings, 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 innovations, the refrain, the gods, rhetoric, and the portrayal of girls and males, this learn 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 process, pose a powerful problem to basic formulations of norms, to the examining of constant human personality, and to the hunt for simple task and closure.

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Plato reflects this problem in his portrayal of the rhapsode Ion, who insists (when pressed and led on by Socrates) that he has learned from Homer specific skills of use to military officers (Ion 540d–1b), rather than claiming merely that Homer provides general guidance on the protocols of interpersonal relationships and the importance of good counsel and effective communication with one’s peers. 66 Within Frogs we find “Aeschylus” citing Homer’s usefulness to generals and soldiers in the same way as Plato’s Ion,67 while “Euripides” prides himself on having taught Athenians to pay attention more acutely to their household management (971–9).

Plato, a younger witness than Aristophanes, but still one who as a boy and teenager presumably attended the theater during the final decade of the activity of Sophocles and Euripides, does not consider the tragedians explicit teachers in the way the famous passage in Frogs suggests. He is 66 67 Compare, too, the specific instruction ascribed to Euripides by the woman who denounces him in Aristophanes’ Women at the Thesmophoria 389–428. ” (taxeis, aretas, hopliseis andrōn). The approaches and scope of this book 25 not, of course, an unbiased witness, because he is offering an iconoclastic alternative to the traditional mode of Greek education and to traditional notions of citizenship, and thus is at pains to criticize and supplant a source of authoritative traditions cherished by the Athenians (and also increasingly by other fourth-century cities).

Aegeus, king of Athens, arrives next, receives from Medea a promise of help to cure his childlessness, and promises to protect her if she makes her way on her own to Athens. Medea reveals to the chorus a plan to kill the princess through poisoned gifts carried by her sons and then to kill her own sons to torment Jason and save them from possible revenge from the Corinthians. She dupes Jason into believing she has recognized the wisdom of his new marriage and induces him to take their sons with the fatal gifts to the princess.

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

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