In Search of True Nobility
An Illustrated Presentation by Dr. Lena Hatzichronoglou
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.
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