The Madness of Heracles in Euripides

Authors

  • Polonca Zupančič University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/keria.18.2.17-30

Keywords:

Ancient Greek literature, Euripides, tragedy, Heracles

Abstract

In Euripides’ tragedy The Madness of Heracles, the theme of madness plays the central role, being directly linked to the tipping point in the hero’s life: to Heracles killing in madness his children and wife, thus turning from hero to murderer. The tragedy raises a question: Is this madness of internal or external origin? The paper examines the descriptions of madness in the tragedy, highlighting the variety of interpretations applied to the madness theme and, indeed, to the tragedy as a whole. For transparency’s sake, the interpretations are grouped on the basis of their main points. The discussion will not only show the multitude of interpretations but also emphasise the multilayered quality of Euripides’ writings.

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Published

31.12.2016

Issue

Section

Articles