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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 Rescue of the Corpses

The Rescue of the Corpses

(p.128) 20. The Rescue of the Corpses
Euripides’s Revolution under Cover

Pietro Pucci

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on Athens's splendid action of rescuing the Argive corpses. In the presence of the Argive corpses, which ostensibly would be placed on the stage, their mothers, friends, and children lament their death and contemplate the future that remains for the survivors. Athens's rescue of the corpses is almost forgotten. Although Theseus's glory is mentioned, the supposed idealism and nobility of the event are covered by the darkness of death that descends on the stage and dominates the dramatic action. This chapter examines how Euripides produces contradictory, oxymoronic feelings for the mothers of the Argive corpses. It also considers the mothers' rejection of maternity and how Theseus promotes the champions' courage as an example for their children to follow. It also compares Theseus's victory with that of Evadne, with particular emphasis on the rescue of Capaneus's body.

Keywords:   corpses, Athens, mothers, death, Euripides, maternity, champions, courage, Evadne, Capaneus

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