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Consolation In Euripides’ Hypsipyle

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Chapter Summary

The fragments of the Hypsipyle constitute the largest surviving portion of all Euripides' lost plays, with entire scenes surviving in relative completion. One theme in the Hypsipyle that has not received enough attention is consolation. This chapter focuses on the theme of consolation itself, and how the play explores the positive and negative implications and results of consolation by its enactment. Hypsipyle is nostalgic for a lost genre of song, the kind that the women of Lemnos used to sing to relieve their fatigue at the loom. Consolation may be a universal gesture showing compassion for common human misfortune, but each addressee's situation and personality is specific, and the consoler's challenge is to make commonplace sentiments and statements of sympathy have engaging meaning.If the play is indeed thematically &t;about consolation,&t; it is important that the narrative ends happily for Hypsipyle, but not for Eurydice.

Keywords: consolation; Eurydice; Hypsipyle

10.1163/ej.9789004174733.i-580.7
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