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Cheiron's WayYouthful Education in Homer and Tragedy$
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Justina Gregory

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190857882

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190857882.001.0001

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Iphigenia in Aulis

Iphigenia in Aulis

(p.217) 8 Iphigenia in Aulis
Cheiron's Way

Justina Gregory

Oxford University Press

Because Homer’s Nausicaa sheds light on Euripides’ Iphigenia, this chapter begins by discussing her representation in the Odyssey. Both young women have been raised to regard marriage as the culminating event of female existence, an attitude that Agamemnon exploits to lure his daughter to Aulis for a fictitious marriage with Achilles. After reviewing the internal and external chronology of Iphigenia in Aulis and the state of its text, this chapter discusses two aspects that have attracted critical attention—the play’s contemporary political resonance and its pattern of changes of mind—and then reads it as tracing a dual, reciprocal process of education. Iphigenia and Achilles both follow the pattern of the Homeric Achilles in experiencing first a crisis of disillusionment, then a crisis of empathy. Their idealism forms a contrast to the duplicity and corruption that surrounds them and the ordeals they have yet to face.

Keywords:   Achilles, change of mind, crisis of disillusionment, crisis of empathy, dual education, Euripides, Iphigenia, Iphigenia in Aulis, marriage, Nausicaa

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