Almost Dying, Dying Twice: Ritual and Audience in Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The analysis of ritual motifs and patterns and their symbolism in drama has rarely been approached specifically from the spectator's point of view. Consideration of the Arkteia and of spectators' familiarity with the local Attic cults provides new insight into the manner in which ritual steers the plot of « Iphigenia in Tauris » and affects the audience's interpretation of the protagonist's new cultic identities. The dramatic plot of the play unfolds in accordance with an underlying ritual sequence that evokes the Arkteia. Near-sacrifice is integral to the plot since it allows Orestes to mirror Iphigenia's ritual experience at Aulis and unites the two in that ritual experience.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEuripides and Tragic Theatre in the Late Fifth Century
EditorsMartin J. Cropp, Kevin H. Lee, David Sansone
Place of PublicationChampaign, IL
PublisherUniversity of Illinois Press
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2000

Publication series

NameIllinois Classical Studies
PublisherUniversity of Illinois Press
ISSN (Print)0363-1923


  • religious rituals
  • rites of passage
  • exile
  • marriage
  • female animals
  • ritual killings
  • sacrifices
  • communities
  • childbirth
  • classical studies


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