Download Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes by Isabelle Torrance PDF

By Isabelle Torrance

Accessible introductions to historical tragedies. each one quantity discusses
the major subject matters of a play and the vital 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 a very wealthy poetic textual content. It dramatises the civil conflict
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 that means of Oedipus' enigmatic curse on his
sons eventually turns into transparent via their simultaneous fratricide and
the extinction of the Theban house.

This ebook locations the drama
within the context of the attached trilogy of which it used to be an element. It
investigates the play's tensions among urban and kinfolk and the
omnipresence of curse and formality in the non secular 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 effect on Sophocles and Euripides,
and exhibits how the drama's condemnation of civil conflict has been exploited
as an analogue for occasions in sleek history.

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Additional info for Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes

Sample text

Like Peter, who denied Christ three times, Laius had defied Apollo three times, returning to the oracle each time in hope of a different answer to his query (746). 5-6, who visits the sins of the fathers upon the children of the third and fourth generations. The attack on Thebes is a wave (curse) of triple strength breaking loudly around the poop of the city (Eteocles) at 757-60, and the sufferings of the house are ‘thrice-brandished’ (985). So the number three is significant for the house of Laius as it represents the culmination of its extinction, but it is also important in terms of the play’s structure.

There is no suggestion that the Seven drink the blood, but it is clear that the oath ritual in Seven was meant to be taken as solemn. 29 Its impact in antiquity is attested by the fact that the ceremony was parodied by Aristophanes in his Lysistrata. This involved the ‘slaughter’ of a jar of Thracian wine over a large, black-based cup. Here the blood is replaced entirely with wine and the pact is a sex strike, but the reference to Seven is unmistakable. The oath ritual of the attackers reinforces their savage determination and the terrifying threat to 50 3.

Although Eteocles had continued to try to steer the ship of the polis, once he has made the decision to fight his brother, his 33 Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes doom is sealed. Surging waves are said to crash around the ‘stern of the polis’, which has just a thin stretch of wall for protection (757-65). Since Eteocles has been represented throughout as the helmsman at the stern, the image here foreshadows his death under the crushing power of the attack. A difficult passage of choral lyric a few lines later seems to consolidate this image.

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