24 February 2017
The Suppliants, first performed in 423 BC, is a theatrical continuation on the Theban myth of the unfortunate King Oedipus, the power-hunger brothers Eteocles and Polyneices, and their sister Antigone, who insists on the imperative to bury the dead. In The Suppliants a burial is required from Creon by the mothers of deceased soldiers, whom Adrastus, the king of Argos, led to a siege to one of the seven Theban city gates. The women of Argos address their pleas and supplications to Theseus, the ruler of Athens. The famous hero hears them only after obtaining the support of his citizens. While the chorus is fearful of a new bloodshed, Theseus opts for a peaceful way. Will he succeed in his negotiations?
Euripides (c. 480 – c. 406 BC), the last of the great ancient Greek tragedians, is considered an innovator of classical Attic drama. While in his most famous plays – Medea, Alcestis, Hippolytus, Phoenician Women, Bacchae – the focus lies in the inner experience of his (female) characters, leaving aside the segment of deities, The Suppliants is more traditional. His reflection comparing democracy (of Athens) and despotism (of Thebes) introduces an imperative of peace and investigates the issue of a political system to fit man.