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Euripides’s Revolution under CoverAn Essay$
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Pietro Pucci

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700613

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700613.001.0001

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The Failure of Politics in Euripides’s Poetics: Politics in the Suppliant Women

The Failure of Politics in Euripides’s Poetics: Politics in the Suppliant Women

(p.95) 15. The Failure of Politics in Euripides’s Poetics: Politics in the Suppliant Women
Euripides’s Revolution under Cover

Pietro Pucci

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines Euripides's commentary on political theory and practice by focusing on his three plays: Suppliant Women, Erechtheus, and Bacchae. It traces the inspiration Euripides takes from enlightened philosophy and considers his commentary's implicit criticism of the politics enacted by Greek cities, especially Athens. While the political role of women in tragedy is generally adversarial to the city, the chapter shows that some mothers and some girls in Euripides's drama cooperate enthusiastically with the city's political aims. It suggests that the voluntary decision of young women to offer their neck to the knife of sacrificers in order to save the city or the genos is a phenomenon that has tried the hermeneutics of the critics.

Keywords:   plays, political theory, Suppliant Women, Erechtheus, Bacchae, Euripides, enlightened philosophy, politics, Greek cities, Athens

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