Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Previously Published Works bannerUC Berkeley

Euripidean Tragedy and Theology

  • Author(s): Mastronarde, Donald J.
  • et al.
Abstract

This article discusses aspects of the representation of gods in the tragedies of the ancient Athenian playwright Euripides (5th cent. BCE). A first section considers difficulties of method arising from the nature of Greek religion and from the special characteristics of gods as represented in Greek poetry containing stories of the age of heroes. The second section argues for the importance of analyzing the dialectic of hope and despair in the human characters of the drama, with detailed discussion of Iphigenia in Tauris, Ion, and Orestes. The third section studies the spectrum of possibilities regarding the inference by an audience of the operations of the gods in the background. The examples of Medea and Hecuba receive detailed treatment. A fourth section briefly presents some ancillary conclusions. An appendix lists examples of possible actions of unseen gods in the tragedies of Euripides.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View