10-second Literature Reviews
423 BC. The Suppliants. Euripides. Greek. Play. Mothers of the Seven against Thebes plead successfully with Theseus to bury the bodies of their sons.
422 BC. The Wasps. Aristophanes. Greek. Play. Attack on Aristophanes’ favorite butt, Cleon, who initiated paying citizens for jury duty. Parody of legal proceedings. Passion of a foolish old man for jury duty.
421 BC. The Peace. Aristophanes. Greek. Play. Farmers and workingmen rescue the goddess Peace from the clutches of War.
418 BC. Ion. Euripides. Greek. Play. Ion became the king of Athens and ancestor of the Ionian race. Interpreted as questioning Apollo and the honesty of his Delphic oracle.
415 BC. The Trojan Women. Euripides. Greek. Play. Fate of the family of Priam at the fall of Troy. Priam, Hector are dead. Their wives, Hecuba and Andromache, and Cassandra are to be slaves. The Greeks sacrifice Hector’s sister Polyxena to the ghost of Achilles. They also fling Hector’s infant son from the walls to end the royal line.
Helen appears and, through sheer sexual attraction, sways Menelaus from his intention of killing her. Her presence, vain and frivolous, demonstrates the futility of a war fought over her. Portrays the Greeks as cruel and cowardly. Rebukes the Athenians for the slaughter of Melos. One of the most powerful indictments of war ever.