Abstract

Near the end of the play, Evadne appears unexpectedly on a cliff and, after proclaiming her desire for victory over all women, leaps to her death onto her husband Capaneus’s pyre. This paper argues that Evadne is not a wholly unsympathetic character who exists only to horrify and disgust. My analysis of Evadne’s motives refocuses attention onto her overwhelming grief. For while the method(s) of her suicide are admittedly strange, the historical record shows that Greeks reacted in complex ways to similar unconventional, exotic suicides. Finally, Iphis’s paternal grief "rehabilitates" Evadne by bringing attention back toward the devastating effect of war.

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