By Isabelle Torrance
Accessible introductions to historic tragedies. every one quantity discusses
the major topics of a play and the significant advancements in smooth
criticism, whereas additionally addressing the play's historic context and the
history of its functionality and adaptation.
One of our earliest surviving Greek tragedies, Aeschylus' Seven opposed to Thebes
is an awfully wealthy poetic textual content. It dramatises the civil struggle
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 booklet areas the drama
within the context of the hooked up trilogy of which it was once a component. 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 concentrate on the area of
male warriors, and its stark competition of the sexes in the course of the girl
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 impact on Sophocles and Euripides,
and indicates how the drama's condemnation of civil struggle has been exploited
as an analogue for occasions in glossy history.
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Additional resources for Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes
Eteocles first calls only on ‘Zeus the Defender’ (8) to come to the city’s aid, but after hearing of the attackers’ oath to Ares, Enyo (a minor war goddess) and ‘blood-loving Terror’, he responds with a prayer not only to Zeus but also to Earth, and ‘the mighty Curse and Fury of [his] father’ (70-1). Like Earth, a Fury was a primeval chthonic deity, associated with earth and blood, and the personification of Terror with the epithet ‘blood-loving’ has clear chthonic associations. The Olympians, by contrast, were younger gods.
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. Seven was, of course, the third play in 56 3. 41 The first triad of symbols represents a progression from primeval to civilized man.
Zeus’ thunderbolts are, he says, only as strong as the midday sun (425-31). This is not just a defiance of Zeus, it is an outright rejection of his powers. As fitting to his blasphemies he will be destroyed by Zeus’ thunderbolt as he attempts to enter Thebes (Euripides is explicit in his version at Phoenician Women 11801). These impieties are shown to taint the whole group of attackers, even the virtuous, pious prophet Amphiaraus. He has ‘become mixed up against his will with impious men of arrogant speech ...