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Euripides’ Antiope And The Quiet Life

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Chapter Summary

The &t;great debate&t; between the Zeus-born twins Amphion and Zethus in Euripides' Antiope has attracted a great deal of attention, and there is broad consensus concerning its general course and many points of detail. Many details of the debate can be interpreted politically, and political interpretation becomes unavoidable in what is taken as the second stage of Amphion's response. Much of what Zethus values is clearly compatible with an ideal of community service, but also with selfish elitism. Zethus' ideal includes a few further details liable to more than one interpretation. The association of pleasure with Amphion's musical activity in other fragments (Eur. Ant. 187 .3, 6; 196 . 5) makes it tempting to conclude that he opposes public and private spheres and proclaims his choice to avoid the former altogether, if possible.

Keywords: amphion; Euripides' Antiope; Zethus



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