Book Chapter

Female agency in Euripides’ Hypsipyle

James Chong-Gossard

Female Characters in Fragmentary Greek Tragedy | Cambridge University Press | Published : 2020


This chapter restores the play Hypsipyle to a central place in discussions of female agency in tragedy by demonstrating how the intricacies of its plot result from a series of interconnected decisions made by women. At critical junctures both before and within the timeframe of the play itself, it is the female characters Hypsipyle, Eurydice and Eriphyle whose actions determine the course of the plot and have far-reaching implications for each other. The analysis in this chapter shows how the play’s happy ending – which sees Hypsipyle finally re-united with her twin sons – is made possible only because of a long series of choices enacted by these three women. In particular, Eurydice’s decisio..

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