The Failure of Orestes

While many other Greek tragedies tend to reiterate already established myths and customs, Euripides's Orestes appears to be entirely his own invention. Chronologically, the plot of the play takes place after the events contained in Aeschylus's Libation Bearers. It was first performed in 408 BC, near the close of the Peloponnesian War. In Orestes, Electra recounts the story … Continue reading The Failure of Orestes

Brief Thoughts on The Trojan Women

Known in Latin as the Troades, Euripides's The Trojan Women was said by Aelian's Varia Historica (published in the third century A.D.) to have been performed for the first time in 415 BC at the 91st Olympiad. Ultimately, he won second place, losing to Xenocles, a now lost Athenian tragedian. The Trojan Women was part three of a group of three tragedies … Continue reading Brief Thoughts on The Trojan Women

Aristotle, Oedipus, and Greek Tragedy

There is a rigorous debate among scholars that has perpetuated for hundreds of years, dating back to Aristotle, about whether or not the purpose, or telos, of a tragedy is to determine a particular character flaw of the central protagonist. That is, to inquire about whether or not Oedipus is, indeed, a flawed human being who has, somehow, … Continue reading Aristotle, Oedipus, and Greek Tragedy