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Title:Patterns of Exile in Greek Tragedy
Author(s):Tzanetou, Angeliki
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Sansone, David
Department / Program:Classical Philology
Discipline:Classical Philology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Abstract:The argument that underlies the present study is that exile, defined as the exclusion from the social, religious and political life in the polis, constitutes in the tragic plays an exploration of civic identity by means of its opposite, reinforcing its importance through its very antithesis. This ideological view of tragic exile is supported by the plays examined which are organized around the following patterns: (1) Tragedies which draw on the topos of Athens as protector of exiles and refugees (A. Eu.; S. OC; E. Heracl.). These plays focus on the significance of belonging to the Athenian polis by presenting Athens as the only city which protects and receives the foreigner-exile by virtue of its democratic institutions. (2) Tragedies of nostos, set in Thebes or Argos, dramatize the return of a character to his native polis. In these plays, the homecoming is regularly followed by an act of vengeance which leads to kin-killing and results either in the returning character's death (e.g. A. A., Se.; E. Phoen.) or in a second exile (e.g. A. Ch.; E. Ba., El., HF). The plot pattern of nostos ending in exclusion points concretely to the investigation of identity which is analyzed in its primary determinants, namely, oikos and polis. The failure of nostos is emblematic of the dissolution of oikos and polis identity which can only be remedied in certain cases through integration in another polis (e.g. A. Eu.; E. HF). My project, in general, has even further implications; the condition of male and female exiles is different. But, even in the case of women the circumstances of their exile lead directly to the concept of women's civic identity which is circumscribed through marriage. Tragic tales of women wanderers and exiles can lead to a fruitful investigation of their civic identity through the representation of the antithetical connections between exile (absence from home, an undesirable state of affairs for women) and marriage, the means of return and reintegration for women exiles (e.g. A. Su.; E. Hel., IT, Me.).
Issue Date:1997
Description:314 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9812794
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:1997

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