Iphigeneia at Aulis

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

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Euripides’s tragedy Iphigenia at Aulis, written between 408 and 406 BC and performed posthumously in 405 BC, is set before the Trojan War. It focuses on the dilemma faced by Agamemnon, the Greek commander, who must sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia, to appease Artemis and allow his fleet to sail to Troy. This act, pivotal to the war’s commencement, triggers significant resistance from Clytemnestra, Iphigenia’s mother.

The play portrays Iphigenia’s initial reluctance to die, her complex relationship with Agamemnon, and the involvement of Achilles, drawn into the situation by Agamemnon. The audience, familiar with Greek mythology, would have been aware of the future consequences of Agamemnon’s decision: his eventual murder by Clytemnestra upon his return from Troy, and her subsequent assassination by their son, Orestes. These events are foreshadowed in Iphigenia at Aulis, linking it to other Greek tragedies that explore the aftermath of the Trojan War.

Author Details

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Theodoridis, G.,

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