Suppliants by Euripides

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Definition

The Suppliants (also given as Suppliant Women) is a Greek tragedy written by Euripides, not to be confused with Aeschylus' tragedy of the same title. Its exact date of production is not known, possibly around 424 to 420 BCE, and may have been written for competition at the Dionysia. Like many of his other works, it deals with a story commonly known to most of those in the audience. According to Aeschylus's play Seven Against Thebes and Sophocles' Antigone, the sons of Oedipus share the throne of Thebes, each ruling for one year. However, Eteocles refuses to relinquish power to his brother, Polynices. The exiled Polynices leaves Thebes and travels to Argos, marries the king's daughter, raises an army, and returns to Thebes to seize the throne. Eteocles and Polynices both die in battle, and Creon, their uncle, now rules. Although Eteocles has been given the proper burial rites, Creon refuses to allow King Adrastus of Argos to bury the dead Argive soldiers who still litter the grounds surrounding Thebes. Along with the wives and mothers of the fallen soldiers, King Adrastus travels to Athens to appeal to Theseus for help to recover the dead.

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