By Isabelle Torrance
Accessible introductions to historical tragedies. every one quantity discusses
the major issues of a play and the important advancements in glossy
criticism, whereas additionally addressing the play's old context and the
history of its functionality and adaptation.
One of our earliest surviving Greek tragedies, Aeschylus' Seven opposed to Thebes
is a very wealthy poetic textual content. It dramatises the civil warfare
between the sons of Oedipus ?Polynices, the exile, and Eteocles,
reigning king of Thebes. Polynices marches on Thebes to regain his
throne in addition to six different champion warriors and their armies, however the
expedition is doomed, and the that means of Oedipus' enigmatic curse on his
sons finally turns into transparent via their simultaneous fratricide and
the extinction of the Theban house.
This ebook areas the drama
within the context of the attached trilogy of which it used to be an element. 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 during the woman
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 exhibits how the drama's condemnation of civil conflict has been exploited
as an analogue for occasions in smooth history.
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Extra info for Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes
It is also connected with divine possession by the daimôn, discussed below. The word translated above as ‘delusion’ is the Greek term atê. e. panic] that makes [men] throw away their arms’ rather than defend their city (315), and, at the same time, it is the delusion that would make brother take up arms against brother. The brothers, we are told, were ‘divinely possessed by Atê’ (1001). Madness is particularly prominent in the second half of the play, as the Curse’s fulfilment becomes increasingly inevitable.
By contrast Parthenopaeus explicitly values his spear above any god in a dangerous way, and his oath to sack Thebes will remain unfulfilled. 55 Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes Similarly the boast of Capaneus to sack Thebes fails to come to fruition, but of all the attackers, it is he who is most extreme in his blasphemies. He is said to show ‘a pride beyond human limits’ in his boasts, claiming that he will sack the city with or without the will of god ‘and that not even the weapons of Zeus crashing down to earth will stand in his way or hold him back’.
6 Poseidon is ‘lord of horses and ruler of the sea’ (130) which, in the immediate context, associates him with the violent descriptions of the attackers’ horses and suggests that he is in control of the ‘wave of enemies’ getting ready to batter the ‘ship of Thebes’. 7 But the strongest divine presences in this play are Ares himself, god of war, the Fury (personified curse) of Oedipus, and the unspecified daimôn or ‘controlling power’. Ares Even in antiquity, the dominance of Ares in Seven was noted.