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The Language Of Thegods: Politeness In The Prologue Of The Troades

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Chapter Summary

Euripides' Troades, set before the smoking ruins of Troy, begins with a speech by Poseidon. The chorus of Andromache reproaches Poseidon and Apollo for giving up to destruction the work which their hands had fashioned, implying that they might have been expected to protect it, and there is an unequivocally pro-Trojan Poseidon at Eur. Politeness is treated in terms of the rational choices of individuals, rather than in terms of obedience to rules. Politeness theory distinguishes two completely different types of politeness: positive and negative. Brown and Levinson's theory is by far the most influential model for the empirical study of politeness phenomena in a wide range of cultures. Conacher expresses a widely held view when he writes, &t;The most striking feature of the prologue is its picture of the gods as cruel and selfish in their awful decisions and fickle in their allegiances".

Keywords: Euripides' Troades; politeness theory; Poseidon; Troy



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