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Introduction & Overview of Seven against Thebes by Aeschylus

This Study Guide consists of approximately 110 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Seven against Thebes.
This section contains 277 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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Seven against Thebes Summary & Study Guide Description

Seven against Thebes Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on Seven against Thebes by Aeschylus.

Introduction

Seven Against Thebes was first staged in 467 B.C., as part of a tetralogy that includes Lauis, Oedipus and the satyr play, Sphinx. The first two plays in the trilogy have been lost, as has the satyr play. Seven Against Thebes, the story of the conflict between Eteocles and Polyneices, the sons of Oedipus, won Aeschylus a first prize at its initial performance. Aeschylus could count on his audience knowing the story depicted in the tragedy without his having to fill in a lot of details. Epic poems told the story of the Oedipus tragedy and the battle for Thebes, and Greek audiences would know these stories very well. The challenge was not in the details of the story but in the poetic depiction. Aeschylus is celebrated for the poetic beauty of Chorus, and indeed, in the Chorus has a major role, with more lines than any other character. The sounds of battle, which are often heard in the background, and the weeping of the Chorus, and later of the sisters, emphasize the tragedy that is unfolding, but these same elements also illustrate the strengths of Aeschylus's tragedy. The conflict between fate and justice is important for the Greek audience, for whom battle and honor are important characteristics of Athens's strength. Aeschylus was a deeply religious man who was concerned with ethics, hubris, and with justice. The Oedipus tragedy is very concerned with these issues and thus it provides a natural choice for Aeschylus's trilogy. Many early Greek poets saw themselves as the purveyors of moral and ethical wisdom. It is clear that with Seven Against Thebes, Aeschylus is fulfilling this role for his fifth-century B.C. audiences.

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This section contains 277 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Seven against Thebes Study Guide
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Seven against Thebes from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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