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The Tangled Ways of ZeusAnd Other Studies In and Around Greek Tragedy$
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Alan H. Sommerstein

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568314

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568314.001.0001

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Sherlockismus and the study of fragmentary tragedies

Sherlockismus and the study of fragmentary tragedies

(p.61) 4 Sherlockismus and the study of fragmentary tragedies
The Tangled Ways of Zeus

Alan H. Sommerstein (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the possibilities of applying to the study of fragmentary tragedies the principle it terms Sherlockismus — that ‘when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains...must be the truth’ — combined with the principle that no two tragedies will have presented the same slice of myth in the same way. It argues inter alia that Sophocles' Hermione and Women of Phthia were one and the same play; that in a passage of Aeschylus' Niobe famously quoted by Plato, the speaker was Niobe's nurse, addressing a chorus of Theban women; that Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 2251, a lament for the ruin of a hospitable man, comes from Aeschylus' Cretan Women and relates to the death of Glaucus, son of Minos; and that contrary to some recent suggestions, Aeschylus' satyr-drama Proteus did not use Stesichorus' story of the phantom Helen.

Keywords:   fragmentary, tragedy, eliminate, myth, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Niobe, Helen

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