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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 Survival in Poetry

The Survival in Poetry

13. The Survival in Poetry
Euripides’s Revolution under Cover

Pietro Pucci

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the spiritual misery of human life in Euripides's poetry. In Troades, Hecuba frames the whole glorious and painful adventure of Troy as the song that the poets will sing. Hecuba speaks in harmony with epic poetry and borrows from it the power to reduce the senseless and manifold devastation of the world to a sensible and simple image. For the proud aristocratic characters such as Polyxena, Cassandra, and Hector, sacrifices, defeats, and heroic death are sources and themes for songs immortalizing their glory. This chapter considers how the prospect of immortality through song gives sense and meaning to the violence that has been shown on stage. It also discusses Euripides's belief, implied in Troades, that living your life in order to warrant a great postmortem celebration is meaningless.

Keywords:   spiritual misery, human life, Euripides, poetry, Troades, Hecuba, Troy, songs, immortality, violence

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