The Use of Anonymous Characters in Greek Tragedy: The by Florence Yoon

By Florence Yoon

Nameless characters seem in nearly each extant Greek Tragedy, but they've got lengthy been missed in severe scholarship. This booklet argues that the construction and use of nameless figures is a crucial software within the transformation of conventional mythological heroes into exact dramatic characters. via shut interpreting of the passages within which anonymous characters seem, this examine demonstrates the numerous influence in their speech, activities, and identification at the characterization of the actual named heroes to whom they're hooked up. Exploring the bounds among anonymity and naming in mythico-historical drama, the ebook attracts cognizance to a big yet ignored point of the style, suggesting a brand new viewpoint from which to learn, practice, and have fun with Greek Tragedy.

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Parker ad 392–415. 90 They are crucial to the thematic interests of the plays, but they are scarcely figures, let alone characters. This is largely due to the fact that most children—the daughters of Oedipus in OT, the sons of Polymestor in Hecuba, and the sons of Heracles in Heracleidae and HF—are both silent and anonymous. 93 This is the full extent of the active role played by Andromache’s son. 94 However, his part in the amoibaion at 501ff. has emotive rather than thematic weight. His pleas, uniquely intertwined with his mother’s, effectively intensify the pity and terror of the audience; they do not, however, create a ‘character’ for the child.

Her trust in her Nurse culminates in her implicit consent to the fetching of the suspiciously vague “love-charm,” in spite of her apprehensions and the Nurse’s evasiveness. When she learns that this trust is broken, however, the relationship is changed, and all suggestions of the childlike disappear. In her second exchange with the Nurse, it is Phaedra who takes the role of authority; her earlier entreaties are now commands, and her plaintive reproaches are curses. The Nurse’s excuses are dismissed, as is her attempt to return to their earlier relationship with the use of τέκνον (705)—her last word.

70 However, it is very clear that unlike the audience she does not recognize either Orestes or the Erinyes; though her epanorthosis (47–49) and aporia (57–59) are primarily designed to enhance her horror at the appearance of the chorus, they also stress her lack of knowledge. Finally, having delivered her ‘messenger speech,’ the Pythia offers no insight into the future but leaves the rest entirely in the hands of her master (60) and exits. As Taplin observes (1977:363), “there is a complete break between the exit of the Pythia and the new entry”; there is no contact at all between Apollo and his Priestess.

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