Greek Drama,  Show Notes

Episode 52: Intro to Greek Drama & The Trojan Women

Welcome to the first episode in our series on Greek drama and The Trojan Women by Euripides. Classicist Thomas Banks will be leading the discussion with Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins asking questions and adding their own thoughts along the way. If you enjoy these podcasts, you can also check out the HouseofHumaneLetters.com for the summer intensive on Classical Greek Drama.

Thomas begins with some background on the development on Greek drama in history. He also explains the role of the chorus in typical Greek plays in contrast to how Euripides uses it in this play. He then gives us a little biographical information on Euripides and places him, along with the other Greek dramatists, in the context of history. He also talks about the questions of theodicy that come up in The Trojan Women and other of Euripides’ works. Thomas points out some resources to give readers background on Greek mythology and characters you will see in these plays. He continues with a brief overview of the Trojan War. Our host wrap up with some thoughts on the prologue of The Trojan Women.

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

This the story of my life, that while I lived it weighed upon me and pressed against me and filled all my senses to overflowing and now is like a dream dreamed…..This is my story, my giving of thanks.

Wendell Berry

Sophocles is wise, Euripedes is wiser, but Socrates is wisest of them all.

The Oracle of Delphi

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

L. P. Hartley

The Wife of Flanders

by G. K. Chesterton

Low and brown barns, thatched and repatched and tattered,
Where I had seven sons until to-day,
A little hill of hay your spur has scattered. . . .
This is not Paris. You have lost your way.

You, staring at your sword to find it brittle,
Surprised at the surprise that was your plan,
Who, shaking and breaking barriers not a little,
Find never more the death-door of Sedan —

Must I for more than carnage call you claimant,
Paying you a penny for each son you slay?
Man, the whole globe in gold were no repayment
For what you have lost. And how shall I repay?

What is the price of that red spark that caught me
From a kind farm that never had a name?
What is the price of that dead man they brought me?
For other dead men do not look the same.

How should I pay for one poor graven steeple
Whereon you shattered what you shall not know?
How should I pay you, miserable people?
How should I pay you everything you owe?

Unhappy, can I give you back your honour?
Though I forgave, would any man forget?
While all the great green land has trampled on her
The treason and terror of the night we met.

Not any more in vengeance or in pardon
An old wife bargains for a bean that’s hers.
You have no word to break: no heart to harden.
Ride on and prosper. You have lost your spurs.

Book List:

Trojan Women by Euripides

The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles

The Oresteia by Aeschylus

The Bacchae by Euripides

Mythology by Edith Hamilton

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You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

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One Comment

  • Devon

    The Wife of Flanders
    by G. K. Chesterton

    Thomas Banks, Thank you for introducing me to this poignant poem.

    Angelina, Cindy, and Thomas,
    I’m enjoying these podcasts immensely. Not only am I learning a lot but the banter between the three of you is so cute! You are bringing a lot of joy and pleasure into my days. 🙂

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