Adventures with Iphigenia in Tauris: A Cultural History of Euripides' Black Sea Tragedy

Front Cover
OUP USA, Jan 10, 2013 - History - 378 pages
Human sacrifice, a spirited heroine, a quest ending in a hairsbreadth escape, the touching reunion of long-lost siblings, and exquisite poetry—these features have historically made Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris one of the most influential of Greek tragedies. Yet, despite its influence and popularity in the ancient world, the play remains curiously under-investigated in both mainstream cultural studies and more specialized scholarship. With Adventures with Iphigenia in Tauris, Edith Hall provides a much-needed cultural history of this play, giving as much weight to the impact of the play on subsequent Greek and Roman art and literature as on its manifestations since the discovery of the sole surviving medieval manuscript in the 1500s. The book argues that the reception of the play is bound up with its spectacular setting on the southern coast of the Crimean peninsula in what is now the Ukraine, a territory where world history has often been made. However, it also shows that the play's tragicomic tenor and escape plot have had a tangible influence on popular culture, from romantic fiction to Hollywood action films. The thirteen chapters illustrate how reactions to the play have evolved from the ancient admiration of Aristotle and Ovid, the Christian responses of Milton and Catherine the Great, the anthropological ritualists and theatrical Modernists including James Frazer and Isadora Duncan, to recent feminist and postcolonial dramatists from Mexico to Australia. Individual chapters are devoted to the most significant adaptations of the tragedy, Gluck's opera Iphigénie en Tauride and Goethe's verse drama Iphigenie auf Tauris. Richly illustrated and accessibly written, with all texts translated into English, Adventures with Iphigenia in Tauris argues elegantly for a reappraisal of this Euripidean masterpiece.
 

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User Review  - ritaer - LibraryThing

Could not finish it. Focus both too narrow--one play that I have not read--and too broad--history of play in Greece and since. Read full review

Contents

I Rediscovering Tauris
1
II Iphigenia Quest Heroine
27
III Travel Tragedy
47
The Fourthcentury Popularity of Iphigenia in Tauris
69
V Orestes Pylades and Roman Men
92
VI Iphigenias Imperial Escapades
111
VII Escorts of Artemis
135
VIII The Christian Conversion of Iphigenia
158
X Goethes Iphigenie Between Germany and the World
206
XI Rites of Modernism
231
XII Womens Adventures with Iphigenia
256
XIII Decolonizing Thoas
274
CONCLUSION
297
ABBREVIATIONS
303
BIBLIOGRAPHY
305
INDEX
331

IX Glucks Iphigénie in Pain
183

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About the author (2013)


Edith Hall is Professor of Classics at King's College London.

Bibliographic information