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Un corpo di donna per fare la guerra. Lettura della "Ifigenia in Aulide" di Euripide

Published 2009-04-02

How to Cite

Andò, V. (2009). Un corpo di donna per fare la guerra. Lettura della "Ifigenia in Aulide" di Euripide. Storia Delle Donne, 4(1), 71–82. https://doi.org/10.13128/SDD-2813


This paper analyzes Euripides’s Iphigenia in Aulis from a perspective that highlights the relationship between three different levels - the sacred, the political and the private -intersected as they are by the opposition male/female. In the course of the tragedy we assist at the gradual domination of the two spheres of “public” and “political”, while the sphere of “sacred” provides only a ritual frame. On the other hand, from the overall structure of the tragedy it also results that the sphere of “private” relationships and loves is a loser. Iphigenia, who takes upon herself the political and patriotic values of war, peculiar to the male, allows the execution of the sacrificial ritual and hence leads to the apparent triumph of the sacred final. Nevertheless, by resetting the other plans, she attains to upset oppositions and dichotomies and thus questions the prevalence of the sphere of “political” and, paradoxically, even her own reasons. The tragedy not only denounces war and politics as meaningless categories, but even erodes the religious value of sacrifice: in the final part of the tragedy, violence is actually rejected, but the refusal of human sacrifice does not involve a new political tension, and what remains is nothing but the beauty of poetry.


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