Euripides: Suppliant Women (Duckworth Companions to Greek & by Ian C. Storey

By Ian C. Storey

Euripides' Suppliant ladies is an unfairly ignored grasp paintings via the main debatable of the 3 nice tragedians. It dramatises the tale of 1 of the proudest moments in Athenian legendary heritage: the intervention of Theseus in help of overseas legislation to strength the burial of the Argive useless at Thebes. yet Euripides provides new characters to the tale and provides the parable in a distinct and infrequently ambiguous gentle. a feeling of uncertainty and undercutting pervades this play, which dramatises the sufferings of the blameless in warfare after which on the finish foretells extra battle. in addition to proposing a scene-by-scene research, this booklet will talk about the date and heritage of the play, even if humans and occasions from modern Athens might be glimpsed within the drama; the issues of staging, and at last the tale in later culture.

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Although addressing Dorothy indi­ rectly, Coleridge nonetheless hits an open nerve, as this pas­ sage from her journal indicates: Coleridge came to us and repeated the verses he wrote to Sara. I was affected with them and was on the whole, not being well, in miserable spirits. 26 Derrida's term "phallogocentrism" is useful here. The human desire for a center and to be at the center manifests it- The Masculine Tradition 35 self in this "enormous and old root" in which the center is identified with the phallus and with the Word.

The Logos is a masculine pre­ rogative, handed down from Father to Son, and it is in words of approximately the same language that God addresses Adam and not Eve. God deprives Eve of her dignity by not speaking to her directly, with the result that Milton can say that she prefers to listen only to Adam, "not capable her The Masculine Tradition 31 ear I Of what was high" ( PL VIII, 49-50). The first human language act, naming the animals, is likewise Adam's. Synonymous with the things they name, his words have a portion of the power of God's own verbal powers, whereby words create the things they name: "and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof" (Genesis 2:19).

What may be usefully com­ pared to the Freudian model are the family relations that occur at the textual level, where we can fairly examine her representations of her mother and William. Our necessary ig­ norance about her actual experience can be supplemented by tracing her difficulties with the idea of the mother to her tex­ tual encounters with the variety of maternal figures created by William and also found elsewhere in literary tradition. Al­ though the letters and journals that form the bulk of Dorothy's writing are informal and might seem to be trans­ parent expressions of lived experience rather than literary texts, any writer selects what to write and what to leave un- 44 Dorothy Wordsworth written, and anything represented in words has to some de­ gree, however small, departed from experience and entered the realm of the imaginative.

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