Euripides and the Poetics of Sorrow: Art, Gender, and by Charles Segal

By Charles Segal

Where is the excitement in tragedy? this query, how discomfort and sorrow develop into the stuff of aesthetic pride, is on the middle of Charles Segal's new e-book, which collects and expands his fresh explorations of Euripides' art.
Alcestis, Hippolytus, and Hecuba, the 3 early performs interpreted right here, are associated by way of universal issues of violence, loss of life, lamentation and mourning, and via their implicit definitions of female and male roles. Segal indicates how those performs draw on historical traditions of poetic and formality commemoration, quite epic tune, and while refashion those traditions into new types. rather than the epic muse of martial glory, Euripides, Segal argues, conjures up a muse of sorrows who transforms the soreness of people right into a "common grief for all of the citizens," a neighborhood of shared feeling within the theater.
Like his predecessors in tragedy, Euripides believes loss of life, greater than the other occasion, exposes the inner most fact of human nature. Segal examines the unveiling ultimate moments in Alcestis, Hippolytus, and Hecuba, and discusses the playwright's use of those deaths--especially these of women--to query conventional values and the frequent definitions of male heroism. targeting gender, the affective size of tragedy, and formality mourning and commemoration, Segal develops and extends his past paintings on Greek drama. the end result deepens our realizing of Euripides' artwork and of tragedy itself.

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Euripides and the Poetics of Sorrow: Art, Gender, and Commemoration in Alcestis, Hippolytus, and Hecuba

The place is the excitement in tragedy? this query, how discomfort and sorrow develop into the stuff of aesthetic satisfaction, is on the heart of Charles Segal's new booklet, which collects and expands his contemporary explorations of Euripides' artwork. Alcestis, Hippolytus, and Hecuba, the 3 early performs interpreted right here, are associated via universal topics of violence, demise, lamentation and mourning, and through their implicit definitions of female and male roles.

Extra info for Euripides and the Poetics of Sorrow: Art, Gender, and Commemoration in Alcestis, Hippolytus, and Hecuba

Sample text

Which she draws her strength. ). ). He at once puts Admetus' royal house in its larger context of Thessaly and Pherae (476-80, cf. 508-10), and in touch with central Greece too, as Admetus contemplates a possible reciprocal journey to '"~rgos' thirsty land" (560, cf. also 481 and 491). Early in the play the chorus desperately asks for some "resourceful way out of evils" (poros kakon, 213). The word poros implies an open, accessible path toward a goal, a clear direction in which passage is possible.

Apollo's foreshadowing in lines 65-71). The device or drug against death of which the chorus despairs, however, is as much the art of the poet as the fabled strength ofHeracles, for it is that art, ofcourse, that brings the mythical hero to life in the play before us. To work as ccdrug" or cCremedy" (pharmakon, 966; cf. 135) against tragic death, however, the play must also work as Hpoison," poisoning us with its sadness and its powerful representation of loss and mourning. 16 Art's ambiguous healing / poison in comic / tragic mimesis is concentrated just at the point when Alcestis' doom seems most inevitable, namely in Adrnetus' farewell speech (327-68).

As the release ofgrief, it offers momentary relief from the tragic events, but it too suffers the destructive forces that dominate the tragic world. In the Hecuba, for example, the lyric exchanges between mother and daughter are songs ofmourning, like the nightingale's lament (154-215); but these can only reflect the desperation and sorrow back to the captives themselves and depict their ineffectuality in moving their captors to pity (334-41, cf. ). In a number of tragedies the crisis itself takes the form of imperiled speech.

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