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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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Dramatic Means and Ideological Ends

Dramatic Means and Ideological Ends

(p.19) Chapter 1 Dramatic Means and Ideological Ends
Euripides and the Politics of Form

Victoria Wohl

Princeton University Press

This chapter shows how ideological attachments are generated out of the suspense between narrative means and ends in Ion. It argues that for all their openness and questioning, Euripides' plays produce a kind of closure, an investment in a secure dramatic and ideological end. That closure should not be moralized as the antithesis of democratic freedom; instead, it should be imagined as the passionate attachment to certain ideological tenets that is essential to any political system, even one as relatively open as Athens's radical democracy. Ion shows how that attachment not only survives critique—including the play's own— but is in fact strengthened by it: the more contingent ideology is shown to be, the more necessary it becomes.

Keywords:   Ion, ideological attachments, Euripidean drama, Greek tragedy, democratic freedom

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