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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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The beginning and the end of Aeschylus' Danaid trilogy

The beginning and the end of Aeschylus' Danaid trilogy

(p.89) 6 The beginning and the end of Aeschylus' Danaid trilogy
The Tangled Ways of Zeus

Alan H. Sommerstein (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter — following Wofgang Rösler's view that Aeschylus' Suppliants was the second (not the first) play of his Danaid trilogy and that the trilogy's action turned on an oracle given to Danaos that his daughter's bedfellow would kill him — argues, firstly, that the oracle came from Zeus (Ammon); secondly, that the trilogy's first play, The Egyptians, presented the quarrel between Danaos and his brother Aigyptos arising from the latter's proposal to marry his sons to Danaos' daughters; and thirdly, that the final play, The Danaids, centred on a scheme by Aigyptos' surviving son, Lynkeus, to avenge the murder of his brothers by their brides. The trilogy's main themes were the inevitable fulfilment of oracles; tyranny and democracy, and the need for vigilance in defence of the latter; and the idea that marriage is deeply rooted in the order of nature, and that mutual desire and affection are essential to it.

Keywords:   Aeschylus, Danaid, trilogy, Suppliants, Ammon, oracle, tyranny, democracy, marriage, desire

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