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The Prologue Of Iphigenia At Aulis

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Chapter Summary

Iphigenia at Aulis presents many problems to the literary and textual critic. Among these the problem of the prologue is as clear-cut as it is controversial. This chapter begins with a summarization of this problem. Perhaps Euripides never wrote a prologue, and the extant one is, after all, an integral composition by some second hand. No theory of gap-filling or inorganic supplementation can account for the prologues anomalous structure. Whatever is wrong with the prologue may be wrong for reasons unconnected with the faults in the rest of the play. The integrity of the prologue has found defenders; though one recent defender qualifies his defence by admitting marks of interpolation. It is true, and as shown in the chapter, that a great many false supporting arguments have been used to impugn the prologues authenticity, or of parts of it. But the structural objections cannot be lightly brushed aside.

Keywords: Euripides; Iphigenia at Aulis; prologue



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