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Euripides and the Politics of Form$
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Victoria Wohl

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691166506

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691166506.001.0001

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The Politics of Political Allegory

The Politics of Political Allegory

(p.89) Chapter 4 The Politics of Political Allegory
Euripides and the Politics of Form

Victoria Wohl

Princeton University Press

This chapter reads Suppliants, focusing on the form of its allegory and allegory as a tragic form. If all tragedy is inherently allegorical, as historicist scholarship assumes, Euripides turns this generic feature into a resource for thought. His experiment in mimetic compression allows him to explore the nature of tragic mimesis as a mode of representation, both aesthetic and political. The mimetic form itself becomes a kind of theoretical content: the doubleness of allegory offers not only a means of saying one thing through the vehicle of another, but also a way of thinking about the relationship between vehicle and tenor, tragedy and politics. By heightening tragedy's inherent allegorical potential, Suppliants challenges our historicist presuppositions, forcing us to rethink tragedy's role in and relation to the city and the possibilities and paradoxes of “political tragedy.”

Keywords:   Suppliants, Euripedes, Euripidean drama, Greek tragedy, political tragedy, allegory

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