Euripides' Electra: the recognition scene again

Classical Quarterly 48 (02):389-403 (1998)

The issue of the recognition scene in Euripides' Electra, if not as ‘eternal’ as the controversy over the relative dating of the Sophoclean and Euripidean plays of that name, is certainly recurrent. After Eduard Fraenkel's resurrection of the problem at the end of his great commentary on Aeschylus' Agamemnon, the contributions of Hugh Lloyd-Jones and the late Godfrey Bond seemed to have settled the case in favour of authenticity. But soon after, David Bain and then M. L. West, G. Basta Donzelli and finally David Kovacs, all writing in the same journal, raised some new and awkward questions, which, at the very least, require more in the way of answers than they have yet received. The last word, as the saying goes, has not yet been spoken. In this article I try to provide the last word—no, that would be too much to expect, but further reflections on the issue—yes. In particular, I try to set the matter in a wider context, seeking analogies for what, if w. 518–44 are Euripidean, the playwright may have been aiming at in this particular scene. Such analogies should be important, for scholars have generally by contrast stressed the uniqueness of the recognition scene: ‘in the extant remains of Greek tragedy we have indeed nothing’, says Bond, ‘comparable to the Electra parody’
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DOI 10.1093/cq/48.2.389
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Euripides and Early Greek Poetics: The Tragedian as Critic.Matthew Wright - 2010 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 130:165-184.
The Tragedian as Critic: Euripides and Early Greek Poetics.Matthew Wright - 2010 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 130:165-184.

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