Resisted transitions in Euripidean tragedy [electronic resource].

Holland, Kristin Elizabeth.
140 p.
Contained In:
Dissertation Abstracts International 62-05A.

Location Notes Your Loan Policy


Classical literature.
Local subjects:
Penn dissertations -- Classical studies. (search)
Classical studies -- Penn dissertations. (search)
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
This project studies the theme of resistance to change in Euripides' Hippolytus, Alcestis and Ion. In these dramas, the male and female protagonists are unwilling or unable to make a difficult life change such as marriage. This study asks whether these changes can be resisted, how helpful transitional rituals are in structuring change, and how ritual elements coincide with or work against the plot. Chapter 1 examines marriage and the Hippolytus: Euripides weaves distorted ritual elements into the plot to create forward momentum. Hippolytus rejects sexuality, but ritual elements surround him and pull him through a distorted wedding; Phaedra's resistance to her attraction for him is explored using her illness as a plot-driving device: her symptoms reflect her status as a woman in a liminal position, and progress predictably. Here, ritual is powerful, driving the plot against the will of the protagonists. Chapter 2 looks at death and the Alcestis, developing the notion that transitions have two parts: both the dying and survivors are affected by death; one can resist the physical fact of death and the acceptance that death has occurred. The chapter traces two cultural constructs which incorporate resistance: lament and the concept of the deuteropotmos, the person who is thought dead but then returns. Problems arise when people only accept one aspect of a transition; ritual helps bridge the gap if the protagonists allow it. Chapter 3 examines the Ion and adulthood, concentrating on the problem of reconciling inner change with outer recognition and acceptance. Creusa is trapped in an arrested transition toward motherhood; as she reveals her secret past, she brings her hidden and visible life stages into congruence. Ion is also trapped in a static existence; he is portrayed as an ephebe, and this metaphor shapes Xuthus' attempt to bring Ion to Athens. However, the ritual elements employed by Xuthus are misplaced and do not help Ion achieve integration; recognition proves to be crucial. Again, ritual is valuable in structuring change, but unless it is accompanied by the acceptance of the participants, it cannot effect a fully realized transition into a new, healthy state.
Thesis (Ph.D. in Classical Studies) -- University of Pennsylvania, 2001.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 62-05, Section: A, page: 1824.
Director: Sheila Murnaghan.
Local notes:
School code: 0175.
Murnaghan, Sheila, advisor
University of Pennsylvania.
Access Restriction:
Restricted for use by site license.