Week 7: Exploring the Human Condition II


            Sophokles, Trachinians

            Sophokles, Electra

            Euripides, Helen


Study questions:


1. Are the women in these plays similar to the women in the Iliad and the Odyssey?  In what way are they similar?  How are they different?


2. How are the women in these plays similar to the men in the Iliad and the Odyssey?  How are they different?


3. More generally how “female” are the leading characters in these plays?  What is specifically feminine about them?


4. What is each of these plays about (not the plot but the broader questions/issues raised by the plot)?  How does setting these plays in the Age of Heroes and using characters from that time affect the way the playwrights treat these questions/issues?  How does it affect the way the audiences perceives them?


5. (Same question asked differently), why not just set the plays in contemporary Athens?  What is gained and what is lost by setting them in mythological times?




NOTE A: Be prepared to document your answers by citing passages from the plays read for today’s class.

NOTE B: The answers to these questions may well be different for each of the plays.