Kleinai Athenai : the portrayal of Athens in Euripides' Suppliants, Heraclidae, Ion, and Erechtheus

Berti, David Leon, Classics, University of Virginia
Mikalson, Jon, Classics, University of Virginia
Kovacs, P. David, Classics, University of Virginia

In this study I examine the portrayal of Athens in the plays of Euripides. My intent is, first, to see whether a consistent picture of Athens and its people emerges and which elements of the national character the poet chose to emphasize; and second, to relate these findings to the broader issues of Euripides' treatment of the political values which found expression in other aspects of the City Dionysia, the festival at which these plays were first performed.
I argue that the Athenian character fashioned by Euripides in these plays is remarkably consistent, with minor differences of emphasis resulting from the dramatic themes of each individual play. Much of the action of these plays proceeds from the establishment of a series of oppositions by which the Athenian people are differentiated primarily from their chief antagonists, but ultimately from all non- Athenians.
Contrary to the widely-held belief that our dramatic texts subvert the civic ideology extolled in the other aspects of the City Dionysia, evidence from these texts suggests these values find expression in the dramatic presentations as well.  

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Euripides, Athens, drama, City Dionysia
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