Euripides' play Suppliants

Euripides' play Suppliants

Euripides' play Suppliants was originally presented in 423 BC. Adrastus is the protagonist of the play. Argive's King, who conducts a battle against Thebes. The King's war attempt is a failure, and he flees alone to Athens, taking the mothers and children of the fallen chiefs with him. In Greece, Athens is regarded as the most democratic and friendliest city. Mothers and children gather to pray at Eleusis' Demeter shrine. Aethra joins in the prayers, and the ladies of Argos encircle her as she plays and begs for their sons' bodies to be buried. Aethra is touched by this pleas and sends for his son Theseus. When he arrives, his mother explains the situation to him and sends him to Adrastus to talk to him and reclaim these bodies. Adrastus tells Theseus that he allowed his men to go to war even though he knew that was not the right call. He says he favored his sons in law over his seer. After admitting his mistakes Adrastus requests Theseus to take a stand against Thebes. The play focuses on issues of general politics and not on personal interests of individuals. We see Adrastus favoring the ideas of his in laws over considering the good of everyone in the country. Thucydides on the other hand took on a personal view on any situation rather than a political one. Euripides focuses on mistakes made by the government, that is, the people in charge of Greece, he shows the impact of poor decision making by leaders and their effects on the citizens. The decision by Adrastus to back his sons in law to go to war which results in bodies of his citizen’s son being held and not released for burial.

Responsibility of Government in 423 BC

Another theme explored in the play is a responsible government. Government in 423 BC was not very structured, but every leader was in charge of a city and they made decisions that favored their residents. It was the responsibility of the government to ensure that the people were safe, economically stable and had all necessary basic needs. Though in those years a constitution was not in place and basic rights were often neglected we see that Euripides shows a government that idolizes equality in governance. Athens is put in high order for being good at exercising democracy by Theseus while the Theban herald is full of praise of a system that uses a single leader. In Suppliants, Euripides focuses of how well a structured government serves its people ensuring none is left out. Thucydides on the other hand looks at the effect of a responsible government on war and its people. He is of the view that government is the main ingredient for failure in economic and leadership of Athens.

Justice in Suppliants

Justice is also a theme explored in the play Suppliants. Theseus talks to Adrastus to ensure that the bodies of the soldiers are released to their mother’s for burial. Theseus is focused on attaining justice for this parents. Theseus is of the opinion that most middle class and poor citizens of Athens have access to justice at all times. Thebes on the other hand is of the opinion that politics is an area for very few people, and that farmers do not need to be involved in it as they have no place in politics. The Theban leader says that any one that gains power by using his tongue that is by using words to drive himself to leadership should not in any way be trusted. Thucydides on the other hand supports justice for all. He is of the opinion that Athens has a thing for activism and as such has no way of becoming quiet on any issue either personal or national.

The Call for a Quiet Life

Another issue is the call for a quiet life. Adrastus favors a quiet life and only goes against this and goes to war in order to support his sons-in-law idea. Thucydides on the other hand realizes that a quiet life in Athens is impossible. The Ambition of the young is also evident in the play by Euripides, Suppliants. When Theseus interviews Adrastus on the decision to go to war against Thebes he acknowledges that he was led astray by young ambitious people in his state. Adrastus takes us into the politics in his era and the view of the youth as immature and unable to lead to how they grow to become leaders and drivers of politics, the economy and other major decisions in the state. Thucydides shows how the youth is manipulated into serving the country and being part of the war. He shows how a general by the name Nicas does this act of exploitation. Using all means necessary to drive the youth to join the war even when they were not interested.

Effects of War and Politics

Suppliants not only looks at the effects of war on a nation, it also looks in depth at the effects of politics, and the end result of peace that helps drive a nation. Euripides shows how a peaceful nation is good for economic growth, education, art and life in general. Adrastus quips at a last minute on the importance of life and how it can end at any minute hence it is important to enjoy it maximally. The play is one of the many that looks at Athens and how the political scene in this place works. The play is a reflection of governance in that era and its effects.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price