Women of Trachis: Trachiniae Themes

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Fidelity to the Family

A chief concern throughout Women of Trachis is in terms of loyalty and responsibility to one's family. Each of the main characters grapples with issues of duty and obedience, and none of them performs perfectly. Heracles displays what is perhaps the most extreme lack of family responsibility in the play, since he neglects his wife and abducts another lover, in a sense instigating the tragic plot. Heracles has duties to the gods as well; his father Zeus seems responsible for his enslavement, while gods such as Aphrodite (and, implicitly, Hera) are perhaps to blame for his fall in fortune. Nevertheless, Heracles's own lack of respect for his wife is a prominent point of stress in the play, as is his demand that his son obey orders which may be impious or unjust.

Deianira's faith in her husband is under trial from the beginning, and the...

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This section contains 806 words
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Buy the Women of Trachis: Trachiniae Study Guide
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