Saturday, June 20, 2020

Review: The Daughters of Troy by Euripides

Euripides I: Iphigeneia at Aulis/Rhesus/Hecuba/Daughters of Troy/HelenEuripides I: Iphigeneia at Aulis/Rhesus/Hecuba/Daughters of Troy/Helen by Euripides
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I only read The Daughters of Troy. I have no idea how close the translation is, but Way's poetry was fantastic and the story - what becomes of the women and children after Troy's fall - harrowing. How do they deal with one another? How does the matriarch advise, console, rebuke, and sorrow for herself and the daughters of Troy?

It's interesting how the gods are there, but not. The men are there, but not. The idea of free will and determinism is explored. Poseidon says, in the intro, " He, sowing desolation, reaps destruction." Athena and Poseidon team up to destroy the victorious Greeks and then we don't see them again.

Helen proffers a defense. Hera's greatest good is marriage to Zeus - how could she improve? Athena needs no man, why would she want the apple? Cypris (Aphrodite) wins the golden apple, but "why would the gods even care?" Hecuba sneers. She's not buying it and sees Helen as the force of destruction of her son, her husband, her city.

"false kindness were unkindness" (line 466) is an idea that needs more exploration. In our days of virtue signaling and platitudes, we would do well to contemplate Hecuba's words. To see how she applies them practically in this play.

I'm excited to listen to the literary life podcast episodes to see what they have to say. I would never have chosen this on my own, but it was very readable and interesting. Perhaps I'll read some others

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The Literary Life Podcast provided this link to The Daughters of Troy in The Loeb Classical Library edition and I downloaded the pdf. I opened in Adobe and printed the pages I wanted (minus 1 oops) as a Booklet. Used my long arm stapler, and I have a book :) 

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