Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Ἰφιγένεια ἐν Αὐλίδι

I don't know if I'll actually be able to, but I think I will try to watch this livestream (from Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies, lest we think that Harvard has absolutely nothing of value to contribute) live:

Reading Greek Tragedy Online, Wednesdays at 3pm

On Wednesday, April 22 at 3:00-4:30pm ET, join us for a live reading and discussion of Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulis, hosted by Joel Christensen (Brandeis) with special guests Adam Barnard and Mat Carbon (Liège). Featured actors include Tamieka Chavis, Tim Delap, Michael Lumsden, Evvy Miller, Richard Neale, Paul O'Mahony, and Eunice Roberts.

The live stream will appear on the CHS homepage. Recordings of past readings are available on YouTube.

I really like Euripides, and Iphigenia in Aulis is a particularly interesting tragedy. The backstory, of course, is that Helen has been abducted by Paris and the Greeks are at Aulis trying to set sail and begin the Trojan War -- but Artemis is angry at Agamemnon and has used her influence on the sea to turn it into a doldrums. They can't sail. The Greeks on the shore are starting to murmur and get rebellious, and a bloody revolt might spring up if they don't get moving. The goddess must be appeased. And what Artemis wants is the sacrifice of Agamemnon's eldest daughter, Iphigenia. So Agamemnon sends to his wife Clytemnestra, telling her to send Iphigenia to Aulis because he has arranged to marry her to Achilles.

The play as it currently ends has a deus ex machina; Euripides is lavish with gods from the machine, but a lot of Euripides scholars want to see this one as a later addition. I wonder if they will include it.

ADDED LATER: That was really, really good, and makes me want to go back and look at some of the previous ones that have been done. (While they didn't do every part of the play, they did present the standard ending, but also talked about the possibility that it is not original.) Highly recommended, when they eventually put the recording in the archive.

ADDED LATER 2: The Iphigenia in Aulis discussion is now available on their YouTube channel.

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