Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes

Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes

Paperback Companions to Greek and Roman Tragedy

By (author) Isabelle Torrance


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  • Publisher: Bristol Classical Press
  • Format: Paperback | 174 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 213mm x 18mm | 204g
  • Publication date: 2 August 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0715634666
  • ISBN 13: 9780715634660
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations
  • Sales rank: 735,036

Product description

One of the earliest surviving Greek tragedies, Seven Against Thebes is an extraordinarily rich poetic text. It dramatises the civil war between the sons of Oedipus Polynices, the exile, and Eteocles, reigning king of Thebes. Polynices marches on Thebes to regain his throne along with six other champion warriors and their armies, but the expedition is doomed, and the meaning of Oedipus' enigmatic curse on his sons ultimately becomes clear in their simultaneous fratricide and the extinction of the Theban house. This book places the drama in the context of the connected trilogy of which it was a part. It investigates the play's tensions between city and family and the omnipresence of curse and ritual in fifth-century Greece. The play's focus on the world of male warriors, and its stark opposition of the sexes through the female Chorus, is analysed in terms of warriorideology in epic and Greek understanding of appropriate behavior. Finally, it explores the complex legacy of the play.

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Author information

Isabelle Torrance has taught at Trinity College Dublin, the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and the University of Nottingham, where she is currently completing a three-year Research Fellowship. She has published several articles on Greek tragedy within its ancient context and on the reception of Greek tragedy through the ages.