Athenian Tragedy, Hekabe by Euripides

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Today, I went to the theater and saw the play Hekabe by the playwright Euripides. I very much enjoy going to watch plays because the playwright can script the production with a different perspective that is sometimes not an agreeable one in regards to how things are done governmentally here in Athens. Although impermissible scenes were in this tragedy, it is nice to grasp a political outlook that I am not normally able to bring with me to any assemblies concerning battle.
Euripides writes about extreme mourning for a loved one lost because of war. In Pericles’ Funeral Oration, he said “Fortunate indeed are they who draw for their lot a death so glorious as that which has caused your mourning, and to whom life has been so exactly measured as to terminate in the happiness in which it has been passed” (9th Paragraph). He explained that all men are going to die anyway, and that those who lost loved ones in the war should count themselves privileged that these men chose to die in such a way as to make a sacrifice for their people and city. Basically, Pericles wanted citizens in relation to the fallen to refrain from mourning their losses because he thought that the deaths were honorable and valorous. In Hekabe, however, this is not the case.
Hekabe, the main character, is the former queen of the now fallen city of Troy. The Trojan War had just happened and her son, Polydorus, was murdered among all of the chaos because Troy lost the war and Polydorus was the one who bared gifts to King Polymestor of Thrace for the safety of his city. Soon after, Hekabe is given the news that her daughter, Polyxena, is to be sacrificed on the tomb of Achilles. She does not discover the death of her son until after Polyxena is sacrificed and that is wh...

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...ight in the public eye. After he has time to think he still does not go through with the idea. That is when Hekabe suggests that he is damaging something more personal by not helping her. This swings his decision and he finally agrees with Hekabe. Completely beneficial for Hekabe in the end because she achieves Agamemnon’s word in helping her avenge her son’s death.
I think that the citizens of Athens that came to see this tragedy at the theater today came for the same reasons I did. They wanted to be entertained and they wanted to have a period of time where they could be introduced to a different insight about situations that behavior as such is frowned upon. I think Euripides wrote this play for similar reasons also. Maybe he wrote it because this was how he saw the world but just was not able to share his opinion because it would be seen as unjust or unorthodox.

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