07 - • • Euripides(485-406 BCE •-youngest of 3 tragic...

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Unformatted text preview: • 10/5/07 • Euripides (485-406 BCE) •-youngest of 3 tragic poets and usually most controversial •-very modern in many ways •-some would say he is rather postmodern • his plays have these 4 characteristics: • Inquiry into Human Psychology (Abnormal Psych) • Use of Heroines o-bit unusual for Greek poets. • 3.) open and bold questioning of gods/the traditional religious ideas of Greek society and o Greek myths o-gods can be capricious, maniputive • Philosophical Arguments o-At times characers r single char will engage in these arguments that seem to retract from the drmatic narrative • best plays: Medeu o-Trojan women who are slaves and victims of war • he presented his plays 22 times at festivals of Dionysus- winning first prize only 5 times. • He wrote about 92 plays, we know titles of about 80 of them and we have about 19 of them. o Salamis •-Nomos o-many meanings: law, custom, authority •-what is the ground on which we stand? What foundation exists for our society? What is the authoritating consensus on values? Basis- is it divine? Is it custom? Where does it come from? How is it taught? • Euripides illustrates how nomos can be destroyed and what happens when it is. New nomos is created. Hecuba’s world is destroyed. She is the queen of Troy. She loses her city, her husband, her sons, her daughters. She is enslaved and the gods appear to have deserted her. Her nomos is gone- what happens? Euripides is almost responding to last play in oresteia- saying what happens when the foundation Aeschylus laid out is gone. •-the consensus on which a society is based •-gives us alternatives: o-custom o-divine • what hecuba asks about her nomos is is it something we teach or is it something innate? She wonders about this at critical points in the plays. o-this raises an age old question of: Nature vs. Nurture • Are we the way we are, and therefore is our culture the way it is because of nature? • Major Characters • Hecuba- queen of Troy; married to Priam; children: Cassandra, Polydorus, Polyxena o Poydorus is young son of Hecuba, too young to fight in the war, entrusted to the care of someone else o Polyxema- beautiful daughter of Hecuba who has been enslaved wit her and will be sacrificed to ghost of Achilles; her behavior as she goes to her death givees rise to Hecuba’s musings about nature vs. nurture • Polymester= King of Thrace and thought to be good friend of Hecuba and Priam o-it was Polymester to whom Hecuba and Priam have entrusted the care of son Polydores. They have given to polymester a substantial amount of gold to use in that care. Act of betrayal by him is the moment that nomos is shattered, last straw in Hecuba’s world. Hecuba has her city destroyed, she is enslaved, the gods appear either indifferent or silent, she is about to learn of the death of her son and daughter, customary restraints of her world and her society are gone. Polymester-godparent • Odysseus= politician primarily interested in matters of expediency;...
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This note was uploaded on 07/26/2010 for the course POLI POLI 1001 taught by Professor Eubanks during the Fall '07 term at LSU.

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07 - • • Euripides(485-406 BCE •-youngest of 3 tragic...

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