By William Allan
The Andromache has lengthy been disparaged regardless of being a super piece of theater. during this booklet Dr. Allan attracts realization to the missed artistry of this very outstanding and exciting textual content. via cautious research the Andromache emerges as a play that poses primary questions, specifically concerning the polarity of Greek and barbarian, and the morality of the gods. Dr. Allan exhibits how the play additionally demanding situations revenge as a cause for motion, and explores the function of ladies as other halves, moms, and sufferers of conflict, be they Greek or Trojan, successful or defeated. those are one of the primary issues that make the Andromache a relocating and thought-provoking tragedy, packed with affliction, suspense, and ethical curiosity. This ebook contributes either to an appreciation of the Andromache in its personal correct, and to a much wider figuring out of the range and caliber of Euripides' oeuvre.
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Extra info for The Andromache and Euripidean Tragedy (Oxford Classical Monographs)
T h e killing of Astyanax w7as the central event of Ennius' tragedy Andromacha, which, like Euripides' Troades, wras set in the Greek camp at T r o y ; cf. Jocelyn (1967) 235. g. Heracles the paragon family-man in the Heracles, virtuous Capaneus in the Suppliants, and wTicked Eteocles in the Phoenissae. 86 LIMC Neoptolemus no. 370, depicts a /9 Myth 27 If we look briefly at the literary precedents for Neoptolemus' death at Delphi, we may see where Euripides has innovated and w h y . T h e available evidence suggests that Euripides is the first to present Orestes' involvement in Neoptolemus' death at Delphi.
6 Cf. Meridier (1927) 99 on the 'pessimistic, illusionless insight' of the play. Myth 25 of Andromache, Peleus and Neoptolemus into sharper relief, and intensifies the pathos of their suffering. Euripides could d o — a n d d i d — a n y t h i n g he wanted with myth. 7 7 He has chosen (for reasons we will discuss further in Chapter 8) to respect the tradition of Neoptolemus' burial at Delphi, where pilgrims will have seen the hero's temenos (cf. Pind. Nem. 7. 44—7; Pherecydes, FGrH 3 F 64a). H o w ever, Euripides gives the tomb of Neoptolemus a novel aetiology in the hostility of Orestes.
T h e delay in her action, and her timing of it during Neoptolemus' absence, make her seem more petty and objectionable. Orestes too has been languishing in self-pity, waiting to strike back at Neoptolemus (note the tense: epupivov 961, 'I kept waiting'). T h e multiple effects of distance and delay combine to underline the absurdities of a morality driven by the desire for vengeance. T h e death of Neoptolemus and its lamentation by Peleus are a poignant climax to the play. 1 0 0 T h e appearance of T h e t i s at the end is structurally apt: it balances A n d r o m a c h e ' s supplication of her at the start of the play (upos roS5 ayaXpca Seas ¡K€TI$ 7T€pl xetpe paXovaa 115, T embrace this statue of the goddess with a suppliant's arms').