Women of Trachis: Trachiniae Essay

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Trudell is a doctoral student of English literature at Rutgers University. In the following essay, he analyzes the role of the tragic Chorus in order to demonstrate a key method by which Sophocles develops frustration and dissatisfaction with the violent hero Heracles.

Women of Trachis is the only one of Sophocles's surviving plays whose title does not refer to a main character or tragic hero but instead to the group of onlookers who comment upon and explain the action. In much of Greek tragedy, the Chorus is generalized and even indistinct, circumscribed by a traditional role that does not leave much room for individuation or characterization. Often it resembles a collection of voices one might hear in the town square. It is frequently a reflection of the audience, liable to fade into the scenery except during its outbursts of tragic emotion intended to cultivate and intensify the...

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This section contains 1,618 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Women of Trachis: Trachiniae Study Guide
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