Phoenician Women

Euripides (c.480–c.406 BC), translated by Theodoridis, G., (contributor-contact-email)

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The Phoenician Women is a tragedy by Euripides, written around 408 BC amid military disasters for his city-state, Athens. The play is based on the same story as Aeschylus’ play Seven Against Thebes. It was presented along with the tragedies Hypsipyle and Antiope. Euripides reportedly won the second prize with this trilogy. The text of the play is, however, poor, and scholars have detected several interpolations. Some even believe that the whole play is post-Euripidean, written in the style of the late Euripides.

The title refers to the Greek chorus, which is composed of Phoenician women on their way to Delphi who are trapped in Thebes by the war. Unlike some of Euripides’ other plays, the chorus does not play a significant role in the plot, but represents the innocent and neutral people who very often are found in the middle of war situations. Patriotism is a significant theme in the story, as Polynices talks a great deal about his love for the city of Thebes but has brought an army to destroy it; Creon is also forced to make a choice between saving the city and saving the life of his son.

Author Details

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Theodoridis, G.,

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