Vases and Tragic Drama: Euripides’ <i>Medea</i> and Sophocles’ lost <i>Tereus</i>

Jenny March

in Word And Image In Ancient Greece

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780748614066
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651054 | DOI:
Vases and Tragic Drama: Euripides’ Medea and Sophocles’ lost Tereus

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This chapter examines ancient literature and art, and how they, taken together, can help throw light on tragedies in Greece, both lost and extant. It considers child murder, beginning with Euripides' Medea, and then focuses on the myth of Tereus, Procne and Philomela. The chapter shows how word and image, looked at in tandem, can help to throw light, in this case, on Sophocles' lost tragedy Tereus. This is the myth of the nightingale, the very image of grief in so much of Greek poetry, who laments the death of Itys forever. Children are killed in several of the Greek myths, and the infanticide par excellence is, of course, Medea.

Keywords: literature; tragedies; Greece; Euripides; Medea; myth; Tereus; Procne; Philomela; Sophocles

Chapter.  8001 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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