Euripides: Ion

Swift, Laura (2008). Euripides: Ion. Duckworth Companions to Greek and Roman Drama. London: Duckworth.


Euripides' Ion is the story of a young man's search for his identity, and a woman's attempt to come to terms with her past. Through the story of a divine rape and its consequences, it asks questions about the justice of the gods and the nature of parenthood, encouraging its audience to consider contemporary concerns through the filter of traditional myth. This book outlines the pre-history and later reception of the Ion myth, and provides a literary interpretation of the play's main themes. It aims to combine a detailed study of the text with a consideration of its cultural contexts. Chapters on religion, family, and national identity analyse how Euripides handles these issues in the light of the values of his day, and investigate the play's relationship to contemporary debates. The play's patriotic ending is discussed in relation to the political climate of the late fifth century, and Athens' struggle to maintain her empire. The book also explores the play's upbeat ending and 'tragi-comic' tone, and discusses Greek concepts of genre and our understanding of what constitutes tragedy

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