CLASSIC 45B Lecture 15: The Quest of Heroines: Iphigeneia & Thecla

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University of California - Irvine
Andromache Karanika

Class: Classics 45B Topic: The Quest of Heroines- Iphigeneia & Thecla Date: Tragedies that treat the ● Both by EURIPIDES, end of 5th century myth of IPHIGENEIA ● Iphigeneia in AULIS ○ Focuses on the events b4 the Trojan War and the SACRIFICE OF IPHIGENEIA ● Iphigeneia among the Taurians ○ Play focuses on Iphigeneia’s transportation to the land of the Taurians where she was a priestess of Artemis ○ Eventually she was saved by her brother Orestes and his bff Pylades and came back to her homeland ○ NOSTOS theme here ● Note difference in transliteration: ○ Iphigeneia (spelled in -eia) or Iphigenia Iphigenia in Aulis ● Iphigenia is the sacrificial victim when the Greek fleet gathers in AULIS to set the war against TROY ● Background of the story: ○ Agamemnon, her father, accidentally kills a deer in a grove sacred to the goddess Artemis ○ Artemis punishes him by holding the winds so that the fleet cannot sail to Troy ● The seer (prophet) CALCHAS reveals to all that to appease Artemis, Agamemnon must sacrifice his eldest daughter, Iphigenia ● Agamemnon at first refuses ● Pressured by the other commanders eventually agrees ● He asks his wife and Iphigeneia’s mother CLYTEMNESTRA to bring Iphigeneia as if for a wedding for their daughter to the best warrior: ACHILLES Interpretations ● Based on the themes and patterns: ○ We have the story of the sacrifice of a maiden ● Diff views: Clytemnestra doesn’t know what is happening, feminist perspectives. She has partial view whereas Agamemnon full view of what is about to happen ● Finally she realized and is appalled>hatred for her husband and eventually revenge ○ Remember: Clytemnestra has Agamemnon killed upon his return in Oresteia by Aeschylus Equation of sacrifice- ● Iphigeneia and her mother thought they were preparing for a wedding (it wedding reflects minimal input from them) that the father had arranged ● Eventually the wedding was replaced by a sacrifice ● Myth about replacements/ sacrifice/ transportation ● A wedding became a sacrifice or a wedding is portrayed like a sacrifice 1 Class: Classics 45B ● ● Agamemnon covers his face as Iphigeneia is carried to be sacrificed ● To the right is Calchas ● Fresco from POMPEII ● Based on painting by TIMANTHUS ● She has since been made a priestess at Temple of Artemis in Tauris, a Iphigeneia in the land of position in which she has the gruesome task of ritually performing a TAURI sacrifice ○ Sacrificing foreigners who land on the shores of King THOAS ● She hates her forced religious servitude and is desperate to contact her family in Greece to let them know that she was saved thanks to the swap ● She also had a prophetic dream about her brother Orestes in which the structure of her family's house crashed down in ruins, leaving only a single column whom she believes to be dead ● Orestes and Pylades arrive in the land of the TAURI In the play by ○ Orestes was sent by Apollo to retrieve the image of Artemis from EURIPIDES- entrances the temple and exits from the temple of Artemis ○ Pylades has accompanied him ○ Orestes explains that he has avenged Agamemnon’s death by killing Clytemnestra and Aegisthus ● They know that the Taurians sacrifice Greek blood in th
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