Founding Athens II: Ion and Origin Myths in Tragedy (handout)

Mythological stories dramatized in Athenian tragedy provide us with a good opportunity to explore how myth is used in aparticular political and social context. Dramatists choose specific mythological episodes, which make it possible to reflect on Athenian society and to question the validity of the myths themselves. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Euripides’ Ion, which retells the myth of one of Athens’ early kings, and highlights contemporary issues from Euripides’ own time, such as the exclusivity of Athenian citizenship and the Athenian claim to authority over all Ionian peoples. Copyright 2013 Rhiannon Evans / La Trobe University, all rights reserved. Contact for permissions.

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