"Алкеста" Еврипида: проблемы интерпретации
The tragedies of Euripides are among the most admired works of Greek literature. They are valued especially in our own day for their sceptical attitude to authority and divinity, for their psychological complexity and for their sympathetic but unsentimental portrayal of assertive women. In this striking new monograph, Boris Nikolsky reinterprets a Euripidean tragedy which combines these qualities to the highest degree, the Hippolytus. Nikolsky questions the current gender and psychoanalytical approaches to Hippolytus and challenges the widespread interpretations of the play as being concerned with the irresistible force of love and the inevitability of punishment for those who underestimate its power. He reads the play in terms of its own culture and argues that Euripides' primary interest lies rather in the sphere of morality. Arguing from the dramatic structure of Hippolytus, its imagery and the problems of its production, the author proposes a new interpretation of the play's main theme: humans turn out to be not culprits but victims of fate, their will always tends towards virtue, but their natural weakness and the ambivalence of virtue itself lead them to wrong actions.
In consequence, it is exoneration and forgiveness that are shown to be the highest and only pure moral values.
This note discusses one of the largely super uous conjectures unearthed by J. Diggle and given an honourable place in his otherwise very succinct and e cient apparatus criticus. Reported by none of the recent editors, and earlier by Prinz–Wecklein and Verrall, Herwerden’s μελανόσπλαγχνος in Euripides’ Medea 109 is an undesirable change of the sound, if idiosyncratic, mss. reading μεγαλόσπλαγχνος. Diggle, however, having (independently) conjectured the same word, patched together arguments for it. An additional attraction this conjecture gained in his eyes was due to his misreading of the remark (quoted in the heading) Wilamowitz made proofreading the rst volume of Murray’s OCT in 1901. While Wilamowitz discouraged Murray from reporting this conjecture with his usual “besser fort”, Diggle, on passing acquaintance with the letters, took it to mean “Herw. besser fort[asse]”, thus corroborating his point.
The prolonged correspondence of Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff and Gilbert Murray was summarised by Murray himself late in his life (Antike und Abendland, 1954). Once Wilamowitz’ side of the correspondence – Murray’s letters are lost – was published by A. Bierl, W. M. Calder III and R. L. Fowler in 1991, it revealed the correspondents’ scholarly and personal relations to have been more complex. A selection of episodes pivotal to the correspondence is arranged in this article in the way witnessing not only the variety of the correspondents’ talents and undertakings, but also the differences inherent in their ways.