In Search of True Nobility
What makes Euripidean drama so significant for our world of today
is that it causes us to see reality from a different point of view.
No matter how much we thought we understood the people and the circumstances
around us, Euripides will always show us reality from yet another
angle. This artistic, exaggerated image of the mythical world reflects
so accurately our inner and outer reality, which is often so painful
to observe; and yet, in this discomfort, we find the learning, healing
and understanding we have always sought in our lives.
The "Andromache," like most of Euripides' other plays,
depicts a similarly uncomfortable image of the world. This is the
world of the winners of the Trojan War (the symbolic archetype of
any war), in which our western mentality can see clearly its own
reflection. It is a world in which the people incessantly talk about
principles and values, but, under the experience of the play's reality,
they prove neither to know nor to understand the essence of what
they claim to possess.
Andromache, the coveted widow of Hector who has been awarded to
Achilles' son Neoptolemus as a spoil of the war, is used here as
the sounding board, against which, every Greek value and ideal will
be tested and reexamined. The spectator is pressed hard to think
anew what is the meaning of beauty, valor, friendship, love, loyalty,
high breading, responsibility, family ties, human dignity, and over
all civility. Above all else, the "Andromache," will call
upon all of us to question the meaning of true nobility.
In this seminar, we will study the play's characters, and, through
them, we will seek to understand our own selves and the world we
live in; and, through this understanding, we will explore ways of
healing that which is painful and uncomfortable in our own world.