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

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By Donald J. Mastronarde

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 nice number of the corpus and to spot commonalities throughout it. In reading such themes as style, structural options, the refrain, the gods, rhetoric, and the portrayal of girls and males, this examine highlights the ways that viewers responses are manipulated by using plot buildings and the multiplicity of viewpoints expressed. It argues that the dramas of Euripides, via their dramatic process, pose a robust problem to uncomplicated formulations of norms, to the examining of constant human personality, and to the hunt for sure bet and closure.

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One of the most hotly and perennially debated issues related to our understanding of the position and function of tragedy within the Athenian city-state is whether and in what ways these plays are instructive, and if they are, whether this instruction is individual and moral or collective and political. There is, first of all, the paradox that so many of the external framing elements of the performance within the festival of the Great Dionysia affirm the democratic system and put on display its success and power, but that tragedy itself is best understood as interrogating values, both traditional and contemporary.

Menelaus enters, reporting that he has discovered where Andromache hid her son and offering to let her son live if Andromache herself gives up her asylum and accepts death. Once Andromache does so, Menelaus reveals that he will kill the son as well. Peleus arrives just as bound mother and son are being led to slaughter, frees them, and drives Menelaus away. Hermione, now fearing Neoptolemus’ return, is restrained from suicide. Hermione’s cousin Orestes arrives, pretends not to know what is happening, and accepts Hermione’s plea that he rescue her, finally revealing that he knew the situation, has planned to ambush Neoptolemus at Delphi, and wants to marry Hermione once her husband is dead.

He wrote at a couple of generations’ remove from the fifth-century theater, and so those who believe he is radically wrong about tragedy’s purposes and effects can well argue that he simply did not understand the political and social significance of the genre in the lifetime of Euripides. In Aristotle’s theory, the poets’ intentions are directed to shaping the plot and contriving the words and rhythm and music to attain a certain effect. Shaping the plot involves attention to probability and necessity, to the universal, and to the relation of ethos to action.

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