By Isabelle Torrance
Accessible introductions to old tragedies. each one quantity discusses
the major topics of a play and the significant advancements in glossy
criticism, whereas additionally addressing the play's ancient context and the
history of its functionality and adaptation.
One of our earliest surviving Greek tragedies, Aeschylus' Seven opposed to Thebes
is an awfully wealthy poetic textual content. It dramatises the civil struggle
between the sons of Oedipus ?Polynices, the exile, and Eteocles,
reigning king of Thebes. Polynices marches on Thebes to regain his
throne besides six different champion warriors and their armies, however the
expedition is doomed, and the which means of Oedipus' enigmatic curse on his
sons eventually turns into transparent via their simultaneous fratricide and
the extinction of the Theban house.
This booklet locations the drama
within the context of the hooked up trilogy of which it was once a component. It
investigates the play's tensions among urban and kin and the
omnipresence of curse and formality in the spiritual and political
environment of 5th century Greece. The drama's specialize in the realm of
male warriors, and its stark competition of the sexes throughout the woman
Chorus, is analysed when it comes to warrior ideology in epic and Greek
understanding of acceptable behaviour. eventually, it explores the complex
legacy of the play via its impact on Sophocles and Euripides,
and exhibits how the drama's condemnation of civil conflict has been exploited
as an analogue for occasions in glossy history.
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Additional info for Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes
Divine Forces and Religious Ritual The daimôn The Greek entity of the daimôn is a difficult one to interpret. A daimôn is a god, any god. In the plural, the term daimones is commonly used to refer to the gods in general (as at Seven 77, 96, 173, 211, 236, 515, 823). But the daimôn, as a singular entity, can also be an independent spiritual force, typically unpredictable and arbitrary. In a polytheistic religion where each god is patron of a specific area of human life, the daimôn does not conform to this pattern.
The Curse itself comes into being as an autonomous creature, but Atê has been responsible too for causing the delusion that accompanies persecution by a curse, and the mysterious daimôn similarly drives events to their conclusion. Like the ubiquitous presence of Ares, the Curse and its madness are also manifest outside the walls of Thebes. Tydeus is called the ‘summoner of a Fury’ (574), Polynices utters curses against Thebes (633),20 and the air is ‘mad with the brandishing of spears’ (155). The horses’ breath is said to be ‘white foam’ which drips and stains the soil (60-1), a suggestion that they too are infected with this mad lust for destruction.
The only alternatives are victory or death, evidence of a grim warrior force representing a dangerous threat to the safety of the polis. 17 The oath ritual itself will be discussed further in Chapter 3, but we should note here an interesting parallel in classical Greek literature. This is the oath reportedly sworn by the Spartans during the first Messenian War, where they swear not to return home until they have either sacked Messene or died in the attempt (Ephorus fr. 18 The Spartans have a serious personal motive for making this oath.
Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes by Isabelle Torrance