Euripides – The Iphigenia in Tauris

Euripides / ebooks

Description: Iphigenia in Tauris is a drama by the playwright Euripides, written between 414 BC and 412 BC. It has much in common with another of Euripides’s plays, Helen, and is often described as a romance, a melodrama or an escape play.
Years before the time period covered by the play, the young princess Iphigeneia narrowly avoided death by sacrifice at the hands of her father, Agamemnon. (See plot of Iphigeneia at Aulis.) At the last moment the goddess Artemis, to whom the sacrifice was to be made, intervened and replaced Iphigeneia on the altar with a deer, saving the girl and sweeping her off to Tauris. She has since been made a priestess at the temple of Artemis in Tauris, a position in which she has the gruesome task of ritually sacrificing foreigners who land on King Thoas’s shores.

Iphigeneia hates her forced religious servitude and is desperate to contact her family in Greece. She wants to inform them that, thanks to the miraculous swap performed by Artemis, she is still alive and wants to return to her homeland, leaving the role of high priestess to someone else. Furthermore, she has had a prophetic dream about her younger brother Orestes and believes that he is dead.

Meanwhile, Orestes has killed his mother Clytemnestra to avenge his father Agamemnon with assistance from his friend Pylades. He becomes haunted by the Erinyes for committing the crime and goes through periodic fits of madness. He is told by Apollo to go to Athens to be brought to trial (as portrayed in Eumenides by Aeschylus). Although the trial ends in his favour, the Erinyes continue to haunt him. Apollo sends him to steal a sacred statue of Artemis to bring back to Athens so that he may be set free.

Author: Euripides
Language: English
Pages: 70
File Size: 0,09Mb