Euripides: Supplices (2079 words)


A fragment from the preface to the play by Aristophanes of Byzantium (c. 257-180 BCE) describes it as an “encomium of Athens”. Athens responds to supplication and goes to war against Thebes to force the burial of the “Seven against Thebes”, which has been refused by the victorious Thebans. Like Heraclidae, the play is an example of Euripides’ so-called “political tragedies” (Zuntz 1955). The portrayal of Athens as the selfless protector of the helpless was in general an important aspect of her civic ideology and became a canonical constituent of her glorification in oratory of the fourth century BCE. The play is set at Eleusis in Attica in front of the temple of Demeter and her daughter (Persephone). The date …

Citation: Papadopoulou, Thalia. "Supplices". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 September 2012 [, accessed 14 April 2021.]

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