Thucydides: The Trojan Women

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In the years of Ancient Greece 416/415BC, the era of the Peloponnesian War; a massacre was conducted by the Athenians on an island off Melos resulting in the enslavement of numerous women and children of Sparta . During this time, a play called The Trojan Women written by a Greek man; Euripides, was used to dramatically sympathize the suffering of women in war. This three act performance made its strategic début during the popular Dionysia festival in the spring of 415BC , shortly after the massacre of the island off Melos leading many experts to conclude that the play was used as a metaphor for the aftermath of the siege of the island which had led to all the women and children to be enslaved and shipped off with various Athenians. Therefore among many modern scholars and researchers,…show more content…
The Melians surrendered indefinitely to the Athenians, whom put all men of military age to death and sold the women and children as slaves. Resulting in the island of Melos becoming a colony for 500 Athenian men3 (Thucydides, 5. 116, tr Rex Warner). It is believed that the slaughter of the male population of Melos and the imprisonment of the women and children is thought to have been the influence of Euripides writing his play The Trojan Women which had made its début in the Spring following the siege of Melos with the intention of communicating to the Athenians a message of disapproval of the development and expansion of the Athenian Boarders. Therefore by Euripides referring to a wide known legend of his people, he was able to manipulate his Athenian audience into reading into the mythology in the play, (this refers to the Greek Gods anger at the Athenians for the sacrilegious ransacking of sacred temples), which hence led the audience to seemingly address their own behaviour in their ancient

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