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Literary Medieval Criticism

New PDF release: Aeschylus’s Suppliant Women: The Tragedy of Immigration

By Geoffrey W. Bakewell

This ebook bargains a provocative interpretation of a comparatively missed tragedy, Aeschylus's Suppliant Women. even though the play's topic is a venerable fable, it frames the flight of the daughters of Danaus from Egypt to Greece in starkly modern phrases, emphasizing the come upon among beginners and natives. a few students learn Suppliant Women as modeling profitable social integration, yet Geoffrey W. Bakewell argues that the play demonstrates, specially, the problems and hazards noncitizens dropped at the polis.

            Bakewell's technique is carefully historic, situating Suppliant Women within the context of the extraordinary immigration that Athens skilled within the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. The movement of foreigners to Attika elevated lower than the Pisistratids yet grew to become a flood following liberation, Cleisthenes, and the Persian Wars. As Athenians of the classical period turned more and more conscious of their very own collective id, they sought to outline themselves and exclude others. They created a proper criminal prestige to designate the unfastened noncitizens residing between them, calling them metics and calling their prestige metoikia. whilst Aeschylus dramatized the legendary flight of the Danaids from Egypt in his play Suppliant Women, he did so in gentle of his personal time and position. in the course of the play, without delay and in a roundabout way, he casts the novices as metics and their remain in Greece as metoikia.

            Bakewell maps the manifold anxieties that metics created in classical Athens, displaying that even though voters benefited from the numerous immigrants of their midst, in addition they feared the consequences of immigration in political, sexual, and monetary nation-states. Bakewell reveals metoikia used to be a deeply incorrect way to the matter of large-scale immigration. Aeschylus's Argives authorized the Danaids as metics simply below duress and as a short lived reaction to a difficulty. just like the old Athenians, they opted for metoikia simply because they lacked higher alternatives.

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Aeschylus’s Suppliant Women: The Tragedy of Immigration (Wisconsin Studies in Classics) by Geoffrey W. Bakewell


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