A Commentary on Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris...

Book Details

Author  Poulheria Kyriakou
Publisher  Walter de Gruyter
Publication Date   July 18, 2006
ISBN  3110190990
Pages  504

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This work is the first major commentary on Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris to appear in English in more than 65 years. It offers detailed analysis of a fascinating play that scholars so far had considered mainly as a source of information about Athenian cult and viewed as a romantic adventure story with happy end. Apart from including sober assessments of textual, linguistic and metrical problems, the commentary sheds new light on the play's treatment of myth, its intricate structure, presentation of character, and place in Euripides' work. In particular it offers fresh insights into the play's relationship to the literary tradition, especially its treatment of the crimes of the Pelopids, and its presentation of the complex, ambiguous relationship of humans and gods as well as that of Greeks and barbarians. Unlike most other tragedies, Iphigenia in Tauris does not feature any villain and avoids concentrating on past crimes and their corrosive influence on the characters' present. The Taurians are not portrayed simply as savage and slow barbarians and Iphigenia, the most intelligent character, fails to transcend her limitations. Religion and cult in both myth and contemporary Athens are a mixture of traditional and invented elements and the play as a whole turns out to be an intriguing and unique experiment in Euripides' career.

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