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Suppliants


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AT: (The) Suppliant Women A: Aeschylus Pf:c.463 bc, Athens Tr: 1777 G: Greek drama in verse S: Argos, in the mythical past C: 3m, 2 choruses (f)The 50 daughters of Danaus have left their Egyptian home to seek asylum in their ancestral Greek city of Argos. They are fleeing from being forced to marry the 50 sons of Aegyptus. King Pelasgus of Argos listens to their pleas, consults with the citizens of Argos, and agrees to offer them refuge. A herald from the angry Aegyptus demands the release of the suppliants, threatening Argos with invasion if they do not comply. Pelasgus stoutly rejects their demands, and the Danaid women are granted a new home in the city of Argos.

AT: (The) Suppliant Women A: Aeschylus Pf:c.463 bc, Athens Tr: 1777 G: Greek drama in verse S: Argos, in the mythical past C: 3m, 2 choruses (f)

Long thought to be the first extant Greek tragedy, Suppliants appears to have a primitive, undramatic structure, consisting mainly of exchanges between one actor and the chorus. Since the discovery of a fragment of papyrus in 1952, it is now known to be a work of Aeschylus' maturity. It appears to be the first part of a trilogy, since the traditional myth tells how the Danaids are eventually forced into marriage. However, they take their revenge on the wedding night, slaying all the bridegrooms but one. A fragment of the final part of the trilogy, entitled Danaids, reveals that the goddess Aphrodite has power over all things, so that it is possible that the final part consisted of a trial exonerating both the men for their violent rape and the women for their bloody revenge. Seen as part of this imagined whole, Suppliants may therefore be considered more as a choral prelude to the main action rather than a complete play in itself.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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Aeschylus (525—456 bc) Greek dramatist


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