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Tragedy, Euripides and Euripideans$
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Christopher Collard

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781904675730

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781904675730.001.0001

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The Funeral Oration in Euripides' Supplices

The Funeral Oration in Euripides' Supplices

Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 19 (1972) 39–53

(p.115) 8 The Funeral Oration in Euripides' Supplices
Tragedy, Euripides and Euripideans

Christopher Collard

Liverpool University Press

This play contains among several distinct dramatic features a ‘funeral oration’ delivered in praise of the ‘Seven Against Thebes’, all killed in that morally questionable assault and some of them very flawed heroes (see also 9) below). The paper discusses the major textual difficulties of the speech, which bear strongly on its interpretation as a whole; then its general character in a mythical setting, in relation to several literary records and examples of the great Athenian funeral orations delivered annually in praise of the war-dead, homilies to encourage civic virtues and pride. A final section establishes the oration as in formal harmony with play's plot and setting, and with its underlying ideals; it defends the oration against some critics’ scorn as a satire on the conventions of the Athenian annual speech.

Keywords:   Euripides, Suppliants, funeral orations, historical reality, dramatic accommodation

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