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The Children of Heracles (Heraclidae)

Wyles, Rosie (2015) The Children of Heracles (Heraclidae). In: Lauriola, Rosanna and Demetriou, Kyriakos, eds. Brill's Companion to the Reception of Euripides. Brill, pp. 584-606. ISBN 978-90-04-24937-0. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:58580)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.
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Euripides' 'The Children of Heracles' is a patriotic play about the Athenian protection of vulnerable suppliants (the children of Heracles) threatened by the violent King of mycenae, Eurystheus. The tragedy includes a chorus of Athenian war verterans (pround Marathon fighters), the selfless voluntary sacrifice of a maiden, (a daughter of Heracles either without name or called Macaria) and the miraculous battlefield rejuvenatino of Heracles' elderly relative, Iolaus. It is likely to have been stages in the first years of the Peloponnesian war (ca.431 BC) and can be argued to have been accepted in this original context as a celebration of Athenian ideology. The play's inclusion of virgin sacrifice, which was probably a Euripidean innovation to the myth, has invited comparison with Euripides' 'Hecub'a and 'Iphigenia at Aulis' both of which, however, enjoy fuller reception histories. Despite very litte attention being given to 'The Children of Heracles' during the Renaissance, the virgin sacrifice and battle field rejuvenation of the elderly warrior appealed to cultural sensibilites in the 18th century and ensured its influence on three tragedies. To modern sensibilities, one might expect the combination of propaganda, patriotic sacrifice, and miraculous in Euripides' tragedy to be more troubling; the past two decades, however, have produced an unparalleled (in its reception history) growth of interest in the play as it has been appropriated to explore issues of immigration, war and the ethics of revenge

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Jacqueline Martlew
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2016 12:35 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 11:01 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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