Tragedy's End

Tragedy's End : Closure and Innovation in Euripidean Drama

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Description

Francis Dunn explores the novel gestures that close the dramas of Euripides, showing how these deny access to an authoritative reading of the plays, reinforce innovations in plot and structure, and open up tragedy to comic, parodic, and narrative impulses. The author provides the first large-scale study of closure in classical literature, and includes readings of plot, ending, and generic innovation in Hyppolytus, Trojan women, Hercules, and the late plays Helen, Orestes, and Phoenician Women.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 262 pages
  • 162 x 243 x 20mm | 586g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019508344X
  • 9780195083446

Review quote

'...The author has produced a wide-ranging analysis of endings admirably augmented by much incisive observation on the body of the plays and a wealth of comparison between plays...D's book is a perceptive and illuminating study of a hitherto neglected aspect of the plays, an aspect not immediately evident as a major factor in dramatic action. As such it fulfils a definite need.' * Stanley ireland, Univ. Warwick , The Classical Review *show more

Back cover copy

Euripides is a notoriously problematic and controversial playwright whose innovations, according to Nietzsche, brought Greek tragedy to an early death. Francis Dunn here argues that the infamous and artificial endings in Euripides deny the viewer access to a stable or authoritative reading of the play, while innovations in plot and ending opened tragedy up to a medley of comic, parodic, and narrative impulses. Part One explores the dramatic and metadramatic uses of novel closing gestures, such as aetiology, closing prophecy, exit lines of the chorus, and deus ex machina. Part Two shows how experimentation in plot and ending reinforce one another in Hippolytus, Trojan Women, and Heracles. Part Three argues that in three late plays, Helen, Orestes, and Phoenician Women, Euripides devises radically new and untragic ways of representing and understanding human experience. Tragedy's End is the first comprehensive study of closure in classical tragedy, and will be of interest to students and scholars of classical literature, drama, and comparative literature.show more