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The hero in Sophocles’ Trachiniae Shigley, Laurie Eileen 1977

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THE HERO IN SOPHOCLES' TRACHINIAE by LAURIE EILEEN SHIGLEY B.A., The Pennsylvania State University, 1975 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Classics We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA APRIL, 1977 Laurie Eileen Shigley, 1977 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requ i rement s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumb ia , I a g ree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s tudy . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i thout my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Depa rtment The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date Jfi iT- 77 6 ABSTRACT The Trachiriiae has been seen as something of an anomaly among Sophocles' seven extant plays. I t i s the only play that i s not named f o r i t s hero, and c r i t i c s have argued v a r i o u s l y that Deianeira, or Heracles, or both Deianeira and Heracles are the heroes of the play. T h i s t h e s i s seeks to e s t a b l i s h Deianeira as the hero of the Trachiriiae. In order to provide an o b j e c t i v e model against which both Deianeira and Heracles can be measured, a summary of eight views of the Sophoclean t r a g i c hero, excluding references to the Trachiriiae, i s .presented. Emphasis i s given to the heroic model of B. M. W. Knox, who himself, b e l i e v i n g that the Trachiriiae i s not c l e a r l y based on the f i g u r e of a t r a g i c hero, excludes i t from h i s development of a heroic model. The models of the Sophoclean hero do apply to the Trachiniae, and Deianeira, not Heracles, i s the hero. The l i v e s and deaths of Deianeira and Heracles are i n t e r r e l a t e d i n the c l o s e s t possible way, bu% by looking with a d i s c e r n i n g eye, one discovers that Deianeira i s the leading dramatic f i g u r e . Deianeira f u l f i l l s the heroic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , i n c l u d i n g those presented by Knox, remarkably w e l l . Within the play, Deianeira faces the supreme, c r i s i s of her l i f e . I s o l a t e d i n time and space to a profound degree, she f i n d s the source and greatness of her f r e e and responsible a c t i o n of t r y i n g to recover Heracles' love w i t h i n h e r s e l f alone. Even though she acts out of love f o r Heracles, her dependence on the power of the "charms" of the l b v e - p h i l t r e suggests defiance of and withdrawal from Cypris' w i l l and power. By her a c t , she becomes t o t a l l y and t r a g i c a l l y i s o l a t e d from men and abandoned by the gods. She destroys Heracles, her one key to the worlds outside and i n s i d e h e r s e l f . i i By her love, she destroys what she most loves, and her own identity. Like Ajax, she i s unwilling to l i v e without that identity, and so, in a quiet display of nobility . and strength, sacrifices herself to the same love that made her unwittingly sac r i f i c e Heracles. Throughout the play i t i s Deianeira's w i l l and strength that cause arid suffer the dramatic movement and tension. It i s her w i l l to obtain the truth about Iole from Lichas, to send the anointed robe to Heracles, and to die without attempting to receive forgiveness from Hyllus of Heracles. Deianeira's w i l l and fate act upon Heracles. Heracles belongs to her but she does not belong to him and hence i t i s she who i s dramatically independent. The destruction of Heracles i s a direct result of an action of her w i l l and is the culmination of her tragedy. Heracles does not rise to meet his fate but i s f u l l of bitterness against the fate that has brought him down at the hands of a woman. Unlike Deianeira, who within the course of the play reaches her end and f u l f i l l s her heroic w i l l , Heracles does not meet his f i n a l end, death and release from his labors; nor does he hold any control over his destiny. He i s helpless and weak in his suffering u n t i l he hears Nessus' name, at which time he accepts the in e v i t a b i l i t y of his fate. Throughout the play he i s treated more as a force thaxi a person. Nor i s he independent; he i s a slave to the metaphorical voooz of his passion and i t s physical manifestations. His catastrophe is the result of his general depravity rather than a single error. He accepts no responsibility for any of his actions and i s , i n fact, a pawn i n the action of the series of events set in motion by Deianeira. His own action is merely in response to Deianeira's and exercises 1 1 0 control over the outcome of the play's events. When he realizes the in e v i t a b i l i t y of his death, a l l action has already been taken. Nor is Heracles truly isolated. He i s , instead, extremely self-centered i i i H i s self-centeredness i s at i t s most obvious during h i s s u f f e r i n g , which he i s not able to endure and so to r i s e to the stature of a moral hero. He w i l l meet h i s death without having r i s e n above h i s own nature; h i s death w i l l mark the end of h i s l i f e and s u f f e r i n g s , but nothing more. Heracles does not s a t i s f y many of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ascribed to other Sophoclean heroes. He could hardly be considered the hero of h i s scene, l e t alone of the e n t i r e play. In the play's s t r u c t u r e , Heracles e x i s t s because of Deianeira, whose l i f e and death do have a purpose i n the play. In f a c t , Heracles i s the unheroic with which the heroic Deianeira i s contrasted. Heracles does not appear u n t i l Deianeira has k i l l e d h e r s e l f f o r love of him, and the t o t a l t e r r o r of h i s s e l f - c e n t e r e d existence i s the r e a l i z a t i o n of the f u l l tragedy of her l i f e and death. His appearance at the end of the play and complete lack of i n t e r e s t i n her death and innocence consummate, her tragedy. One looks at Heracles to see what the object of Deianeira's great love r e a l l y i s . The play i s named f o r the Chorus instead of for Deianeira. In t h i s respect, the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Deianeira and the Chorus i s s i g n i f i c a n t . D eianeira appears to a c e r t a i n degree to be the leader of the Chorus of Trachinian maidens. The s i m i l a r i t y of t h e i r status to that of the maiden Deianeira's points to them as u n i v e r s a l i z i n g agents of the personal and t r a g i c l i f e of Deianeira, the hero of the Trachiniae. • TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ABBREVIATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CHAPTER ONE THE SOPHOCLEAN HERO . . . . . . . . . NOTES —• CHAPTER ONE . . CHAPTER TWO DEIANEIRA NOTES — CHAPTER TWO CHAPTER THREE HERACLES NOTES — CHAPTER THREE CHAPTER FOUR CONCLUSION: DEIANEIRA THE TRACHINIAN NOTES — CHAPTER FOUR BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . - -ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I wish to express my sincere appreciation to Professors A„ A. Barrett and S. M. L. Darcus, who acted as my advisers and supporters in the preparation of this thesis. Miss Darcus set me on the tragic track, and Mr. Barrett was true to his word. I should also like to thank my uno f f i c i a l but very helpful adviser Professor Podlecki, to whom I owe a great deal, and Professor McGregor, who read this thesis, even though i t is "about women." ABBREVIATIONS P. Biggs "The Disease Theme i n Sophocles' Ajax, Philoctetes and Trachiniae," CPh 62 (1966), 223-235. P. E. Easterling. "Sophocles, Trachiniae," BICS 15 (1968), 58-69. V. Ehreriberg. "Tragic Heracles," DUJ 4 (1943), 51-62. G. H. Gellie. Sophocles: A Reading. Melbourne 1972. R. C. Jebb. Sophocles, the Plays and Fragments Part V The Trachiniae. Cambridge 1892. J. C. Kamerbeek. The Plays of Sophocles Part II The Trachiniae. Leiden 1959. G. M. Kirkwood. A Study of Sophoclean Drama. Ithaca 1958 B. M. W. Knox. The Heroic Temper, Studies in Sophoclean  Tragedy. Berkely 1964. A. Lesky. Greek Tragedy. Translated by H. A. Frankfort. New York 1965. H. A. Mason. "The Women of Trachis (Part I I ) , " Arion 2 (1963), 105-121. G. Murray. "Heracles, 'The Best of Men*," Greek Studies. Oxford 1946. 106-126. v i i H. M u s u r i l l o . "Fortune's Wheel: The Symbolism of Sophocles Women of t f a c h i s , " TAPA 92 (1961), 372-383. K. F. S l a t e r . "Some Suggestions f o r Staging the Trachiniae,' Avion N.S. 3 (1976), 57-68. E. M. Waith. The Herculean Hero. London 1962. A.J.A. Waldock. Sophocles the Dramatist. Cambridge 1951. T.B.L. Webster. Ah Introduction to Sophocles. Oxford 1936. D. Wender. "The W i l l of the Beast: Sexual Imagery i n the Trac h i n i a e , " Ramus 3 (1974), 1-17. C. H. Whitman. Sophocles, A Study of Heroic Humanism. Harvard 1951. INTRODUCTION I. Summary The prologue (1-93) of the Trachiniae begins with Deianeira's monologue i n which she r e l a t e s her present s i t u a t i o n and how i t arose from her past l i f e . She i s married to Heracles, who was the v i c t o r i n a combat with Achelous, and she t e l l s of her worries and troubles as h i s wife. Her anxiety, caused by Heracles' absence of more than a year, i s increased by the news of her son, Hy l l u s , that Heracles, a f t e r being i n ser v i c e to a Lydian woman for a year, i s about to besiege Eurytus' town i n Euboea. Deianeira r e l a t e s that the oracles have set t h i s expedition as the l a s t of Heracles' t o i l s ; he w i l l now e i t h e r meet death or have a happy l i f e f o r the r e s t of h i s time. Hyllus then leaves to make i n q u i r i e s about Heracles. During the parodos (94-140) the chorus of Tr a c h i n i a n maidens sing of the troubles of Heracles and Deianeira; they exhort Deianeira to maintain an expectation of good, because " g r i e f and joy come c i r c l i n g to a l l " (129). In the f i r s t epeisodion (141-496) Deianeira addresses the Chorus, s t r e s s i n g again her unhappy s i t u a t i o n and dwelling on the c r i t i c a l character of the present day. The sorrow i s swept away i n an outburst of joy following the Messenger's announcement of Heracles' v i c t o r y and a n t i c i p a t e d safe return, only to be followed by the approach of a mournful t r a i n of captives. Lichas enters with the captives and, i n response to Deianeira's questions, t e l l s of Eurytus' shameful treatment of Heracles, Heracles' treacherous murder of Iphitus, and Zeus' behest 2 that Heracles serve Omphale for a year i n atonement for the murder. However, in response to Deianeira's inquiry about the identity of lol e , the captive whom she pities most, Lichas feigns ignorance. Deianeira, not knowing the real state of a f f a i r s , welcomes lole into her house with love and pity. Having been informed by the Messenger that i t was Heracles' passion for lo l e that caused him to sack Oechalia, Deianeira persuades Lichas to t e l l the truth by means of a speech in which she admits the supreme power of Eros and recognizes that Heracles suffers from i t s sickness and has had other women before. After Lichas admits to the truth of Heracles' passion for l o l e , Deineira t e l l s Lichas that she has messages for him to carry and gi f t s for him to take (avxu 6upuv 6aipct, 494). The f i r s t stasimon (497-530) presents the Chorus celebrating "the victory the Cyprian Goddess always wins" (497), i l l u s t r a t e d by the struggle of Heracles and Achelous for Deianeira's hand. During the second epeisodion (531-632) Deianeira expresses the impossibility of sharing the same house and marriage with lo l e , relates the story of Nessus and why she gathered his blood, and announces that she has anointed a garment with the blood (love philtre) to send to Heracles in the hope of regaining his affections. The Chorus does not dissuade her from her plan, and so she entrusts the garment to Lichas. The second stasimon (632-662), which is f i l l e d with happy expectancy, i s followed by the fear and misery of Deianeira in the third epeisodion (663-820). Deianeira t e l l s of the self-destruction of the wad of wool with which she has anointed the robe. She fears that the anointed garment w i l l k i l l Heracles, and, i f i t does, she insists, she w i l l die with him. The a r r i v a l of Hyllus with his denouncement of his mother and his tale of the sufferings of Heracles confirms Deianeira's fears. She leaves 3 the stage without a word. The t h i r d stasimon (821-862) i s a dirge on the events and underlying causes of the tragedy. I t i s followed by the four t h epeisodion (871-946), during which the Nurse enters from the house and announces Deianeira's s u i c i d e and r e l a t e s Hyllus* r e a l i z a t i o n of Deianeira's innocence. The fourt h stasimon (947-970) i s a lamentation by the Chorus of the c a l a m i t i e s of Deianeira and Heracles. The entrance of Heracles f i n a l l y occurs i n the exodus (971-1278). His mood i s one of rage and centers mainly on h i s longing f o r death and for revenge on Deianeira. When Hy l l u s t e l l s him of Deianeira's death and the circumstances surrounding her g i f t of the anointed garment, Heracles makes no mention of Deianeira. His consideration i s for himself and h i s own inescapable fate. Heracles d i s c l o s e s the oracles that make c l e a r to him that h i s end i s imminent and then orders Hyllus both to help i n the preparations f o r h i s cremation and to marry I o l e . I I . Date No agreement has been reached by scholars on the dating of the Trachiniae. No external data are a v a i l a b l e and stylometric research has proved incon c l u s i v e i n the case of Sophocles. 1 Earp's s t y l i s t i c study suggests that the Trachiniae has an " a f f i n i t y with the s t y l e of 2 the Ajax and Antigone rather than with the l a t e r plays." J . C. Kamerbeek f e e l s that, although Eapp's study makes a strong case on s t y l i s t i c grounds, i t does not prove an ea r l y date. Kamerbeek sees a probable terminus ante quem i n the cho r a l song of Eur i p i d e s ' Hippolytus where the story of Iole i s r e f e r r e d to^ He does not consider E u r i p i d e s ' 3 A l c e s t i s (438 B.C.) as a p l a u s i b l e terminus post quem. The elaboration of the character of Deianeira perhaps developed into the production of the s t i l l more detailed character-study of Electra. The tragic view of l i f e expressed in the Trachiniae i s much the same as that i n the Oedipus Tyrannus although not so perfectly expressed. These observations taken together with the general structure of the play (the Trachiniae i s of the so-called diptych form, which does not occur after the Oedipus Tyrannus) lead Kamerbeek to range the Trachiniae chronologically with the Ajax and the Antigone and "to confess our i n a b i l i t y to name a more ,.4 precise date. Whitman sides with Kamerbeek, but i s slig h t l y more specific. He reaches the conclusion that the Trachiniae was produced some time after, and probably rather soon after, 438 and before the Oedipus Tyrannus.** 5 CHAPTER ONE THE SOPHOCLEAN HERO The u n i t y o f t h e T r a c h i n i a e i s b a s e d on t h e c l o s e i n t e r r e l a t i o n o f v a r i o u s m y t h i c a l e l e m e n t s , on t h e o r a c l e s t h a t b r i n g t h e w o r k i n g o f t h e gods i n t o c o n t a c t w i t h t h e human l e v e l and o r g a n i z e t h e e v e n t s o f t h e p l a y , and, most i m p o r t a n t , on t h e i n t e r r e l a t i o n and i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e o f t h e two p r i n c i p a l f i g u r e s , D e i a n e i r a and H e r a c l e s . D e i a n e i r a ' s and H e r a c l e s ' s e p a r a t e a c t i o n s , l i v e s , and d e a t h s a r e i n e x t r i c a b l y i n t e r t w i n e d even t h o u g h t h e y n e v e r come i n t o d i r e c t c o n t a c t w i t h e a c h o t h e r d u r i n g t h e c o u r s e o f t h e p l a y . The s u b s t a n c e o f t h e p l a y l i e s i n t h e c h a r a c t e r s ; b u t w h i c h o f t h e two m a i n f i g u r e s i s t h e h e r o , o r do t h e y b o t h f i l l t h i s r o l e ? T h i s i s t h e q u e s t i o n t h a t t h i s s t u d y w i l l t r y t o answer. B e f o r e t h e q u e s t i o n o f t h e i d e n t i t y o f t h e h e r o i n S o p h o c l e s * T r a c h i n i a e c a n be c o n s i d e r e d (and p e r h a p s even b e f o r e s u c h a q u e s t i o n c a n be a c c u r a t e l y f o r m u l a t e d ) t h e b a s i c n a t u r e o f a S o p h o c l e a n t r a g i c h e r o must be d e f i n e d . I n o r d e r t o c o n s i d e r t h e q u e s t i o n more o b j e c t i v e l y , i t w i l l be h e l p f u l t o d e t e r m i n e b a s i c h e r o i c t r a i t s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and t o mo l d t h e s e i n t o a mod e l o r s e r i e s o f m o d e l s a g a i n s t w h i c h t h e p o s s i b l e h e r o e s i n t h e T r a c h i n i a e c a n be. measured. To f o r m u l a t e a c o n c e p t o f t h e S o p h o c l e a n h e r o b o t h d i r e c t l y f rom t h e p l a y s and f r o m v a r i o u s works d e a l i n g w i t h t h e s u b j e c t i s a n e c e s s a r y t a s k b u t one made d i f f i c u l t by t h e c o m p l e x i t i e s i n v o l v e d and t h e i n h e r e n t l i m i t a t i o n s o f t h e r e s u l t . G. M. K i r k w o o d p o i n t s o u t two o f t h e s e l i m i t a t i o n s . F i r s t , g e n e r a l i z a t i o n from t h e e x t a n t p l a y s does n o t r e p r e s e n t a s y n t h e s i s made by S o p h o c l e s n o r i s i t c e r t a i n t h a t t h e v i e w 6 o f l i f e and human c h a r a c t e r r e p r e s e n t e d by t h i s g e n e r a l i z a t i o n was so m e t h i n g S o p h o c l e s s p e c i f i c a l l y e n d e a v o r e d t o d e s c r i b e . Second, no one g e n e r a l i z a t i o n (even i f i t d e s c r i b e s a f a c t c e n t r a l t o S o p h o c l e a n t h o u g h t ) i s n e c e s s a r i l y o f c e n t r a l i m p o r t a n c e f o r S o p h o c l e s ' p l a y s . D i f f e r e n c e s and i n d i v i d u a l i t y o f c h a r a c t e r a r e more i m p o r t a n t t h a n s i m i l a r i t y . One may hope t h a t by r e c o g n i z i n g t h e s e l i m i t a t i o n s one w i l l become l e s s l i m i t e d by them. A l s o , i t i s u s e f u l , t o p o i n t o ut t h a t t h e p u r p o s e o f t h e s y n t h e s i s o f t h e h e r o i c c h a r a c t e r i n t h i s s t u d y i s n o t s i m p l y to. d e t e r m i n e t h e n a t u r e o f t h e S o p h o c l e a n h e r o a s an end i n i t s e l f , b u t r a t h e r t o d e t e r m i n e t h e n a t u r e o f t h e h e r o f o r u s e as a t o o l and a t e s t i n a t t e m p t i n g s i n t u r n , t o d e t e r m i n e who i s t h e h e r o i n t h e T r a c h i n i a e . The r e m a i n d e r o f t h i s c h a p t e r c o n t a i n s a summary o f e i g h t 7 v i e w s o f t h e S o p h o c l e a n h e r o . I . A r i s t o t l e P e r h a p s t h e b e s t p l a c e t o b e g i n i s w i t h a ready-made " s y n t h e s i s " o f th e t r a g i c h e r o . A r i s t o t l e ' s d e f i n i t i o n o f t h e v a r i o u s n e c e s s a r y r e q u i r e m e n t s o f t h e t r a g i c h e r o i s one t h a t i s e x t e r n a l t o t h e p l a y s o f S o p h o c l e s b u t has become an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f most s u b s e q u e n t c o n s i d e r a t i o n s o f t h e S o p h o c l e a n h e r o . S i n c e , i n A r i s t o t l e ' s v i e w , f o r t h e f i n e s t f o r m o f t r a g e d y t h e p l o t must " i m i t a t e a c t i o n s a r o u s i n g f e a r and p i t y " > 8 (cpogepSv naX. e X e e t v u i v ) , i t must i n v o l v e " a man n o t p r e - e m i n e n t l y v i r t u o u s and j u s t , whose m i s f o r t u n e , however, i s b r o u g h t upon h i m n o t by v i c e and d e p r a v i t y b u t by some e r r o r o f judgment, o f t h e number o f t h o s e i n t h e enjoyment o f g r e a t r e p u t a t i o n and p r o s p e r i t y . " ( E O T I 6C TOLOUTOS 6 ynxe apexri Suacpepwv «al. 6tMdLoauvn . uflxe 6ua x a x t a v n a l uox§np£av UExagaAAwv euc xriv 6uaxux£av aXXa 6u* auapxuav xtvct, xoiv ev ueyaXri Sd^n ovxwv n a l euxuxfry, 1453a •) T h e h e r o ' s f o r t u n e s m u s t c h a n g e f r o m h a p p i n e s s t o m i s e r y ( E £ EUTUXLOC E L S 6U O T U X U X V ) , a n d t h e c a u s e o f t h i s " m u s t l i e n o t i n a n y d e p r a v i t y , ; b u t i n s o m e g r e a t e r r o r o n h i s p a r t " ( u n . 6 u a u o x ^ n p u x v a A A a OL' o t u a p x t a v u e - y a A n v ) . T h e p l o t " s h o u l d b e s o f r a m e d t h a t , e v e n w i t h o u t s e e i n g t h e : t h i n g s t a k e p l a c e , h e w h o s i m p l y h e a r s t h e a c c o u n t o f t h e m s h a l l b e f i l l e d w i t h h o r r o r a n d p i t y a t t h e i n c i d e n t s " (OI'VEU TOU o p a v o u x u > o u v e a t d v a u x o v u u S o v WOTE x b v a x o u o v x a i a Tipdyuaxa yL\>6\ieva HOLL t p p t x x E L V ? » 9 Mat E A E E L V EH XSV a u u B a u v d v x u t v ) . A r i s t o t l e a l s o c l a i m s t h a t t h e p o e t s h o u l d s e e k a f t e r t r a g i c d e e d s d o n e w i t h i n t h e f a m i l y ( o u o v n o t 6 £ A < p o s d S s A c p o v n u l o s n a x s p a r t UTixnp u t o v n vloz u n x E p a a n o t X E u v n , r i y e X X t j f i x u a A A o XOLOUXOV 6 p q t ) . T h e d o e r m a y d o t h e d e e d " k n o w i n g l y a n d c o n s c i o u s l y " ( s t S d x c c s x a l Y ^ Y v ^ a H o v x a s ) o r " i n i g n o r a n c e o f h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p , a n d d i s c o v e r t h a t a f t e r w a r d s " ( c c y v o o u v x a s 6 E u p a ^ a t ? o . belvov, cZ%' u a x s p o v a v a y v w p u a a u xn.v c p u A u x v . , - 1 4 5 3 b ) . C o n c e r n i n g t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f c h a r a c t e r s , h e s t a t e s f o u r q u a l i t i e s a t w h i c h o n e s h o u l d a i m . T h e y s h o u l d b e m a d e g o o d (xpt iaxd) , a p p r o p r i a t e (TO apuoTTOVTa), l i k e r e a l i t y (x6 o u o u o v ) , a n d c o n s i s t e n t a n d t h e s a m e . t h r o u g h o u t ( T O o u a A d u ) . A n o t h e r o f A r i s t o t l e ' s r e q u i r e m e n t s i s t h a t t r a g e d y s h o u l d b e " a n i m i t a t i o n o f p e r s o n a g e s b e t t e r t h a n t h e o r d i n a r y m a n " ( 1 4 5 3 b ) a n d t h a t t h e p o r t r a y a l o f m e n " q u i c k o r s l o w t o a n g e r , o r w i t h s i m i l a r i m f i r m i t i e s o f c h a r a c t e r , " m u s t r e f l e c t t h a t f a c t . A l t h o u g h t h e y h a v e i n f i r m i t i e s o f c h a r a c t e r , t h e y m u s t b e r e p r e s e n t e d a s g o o d m e n . I I . K n o x T h e m o d e r n c o n c e p t o f G r e e k d r a m a i s n o t w i t h o u t A r i s t o t e l i a n i n f l u e n c e s , b u t i s n o t s o e x t e r n a l t o t h e p l a y s t h e m s e l v e s a s i s h i s . I t t a k e s f o r g r a n t e d a s i n g l e , c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r w h o s e a c t i o n a n d s u f f e r i n g a r e t h e f o c a l p o i n t o f t h e p l a y , t h i s c h a r a c t e r b e i n g " t h e 8 t r a g i c hero." According to B.M.W. Knox, the dramatic method of presenting the t r a g i c dilemma " i n the f i g u r e of a s i n g l e dominating character seems i n f a c t to be an invention of Sophocles." 1^ The reasoning and evidence that Knox presents f o r t h i s assumption i s of i n t e r e s t here, because i t throws l i g h t Upon the r o l e of the hero. Sophocles abandoned the t r i l o g i c combination i n favor of the s i n g l e play (so f a r as we can judge, each of h i s extant plays i s complete i n i t s e l f as opposed to being part of a thematically connected t r i l o g y ) , an a c t i o n c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to the o r i g i n of the t r a g i c hero. Aeschylus i n h i s t r i l o g i e s had shown "how e v i l i n the long course of things f e l l w i t h i n the j u s t and progressive cosmos of Zeus, bringing wisdom with time i n the wake of s u f f e r i n g . " 1 * ' Sophocles, however, chose to use the s i n g l e play, by means of which he was able to present "the m o r a l i t y of 12 i n d i v i d u a l man i n the face of i r r a t i o n a l e v i l . " Whether i t was Sophocles' revolutionary move of abandoning the t r i l o g y that produced the t r a g i c hero, or whether the abandonment was the r e s u l t of the concept of the hero, the reduction of scope (from three plays to one) made po s s i b l e the presentation of a t r a g i c dilemma " i n terms of a s i n g l e 13 p e r s o n a l i t y fac i n g the supreme c r i s i s of h i s l i f e . " Sophocles was responsible f o r both innovations, but h i s s p e c i a l hallmark i s h i s concentration on the c e n t r a l f i g u r e . In a d d i t i o n to abandoning the t r i l o g y , Sophocles also added the t h i r d speaking actor and by these two actions, i n a sense, invented tragedy as i t i s known t o d a y — " t h e confrontation of h i s destiny by a 14 heroic i n d i v i d u a l whose freedom of a c t i o n implies f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . " The concentration of the drama on a great c r i s i s of the hero's l i f e demands a s i n g l e play and a t h i r d actor. That t h i s concentration on one c e n t r a l f i g u r e was recognized i n the ancient world i s suggested by the t i t l e s assigned to h i s plays.*"* The Trachiniae alone of the seven extant tragedies i s named a f t e r the chorus instead of the c e n t r a l f i g u r e , and, according to Knox, "that i s the only one of the seven which i s not 16 c l e a r l y based on the f i g u r e of a t r a g i c hero." The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the heroes i n the other s i x plays, however, Knox develops w i t h i n a quite comprehensive scheme. A summary of h i s views f o l l o w s . The Sophoclean t r a g i c hero i s i s o l a t e d . The i s o l a t i o n of time and space impose on him the f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of h i s own a c t i o n and i t s consequences and compel him to act i n the present without a past to guide him or a future to comfort him. The source of h i s a c t i o n , as does the greatness of h i s a c t i o n , belongs to the hero alone. Th i s free and responsible a c t i o n brings the hero through s u f f e r i n g sometimes to v i c t o r y , but more of t e n causes him to f a l l and experience defeat before he reaches the f i n a l v i c t o r y . For the hero, s u f f e r i n g and gl o r y are fused i n t o an i n d i s s o l u b l e unity. In r e f u s i n g to accept h i s human l i m i t a t i o n s , the heroic i n d i v i d u a l renders h i s a c t i o n f u l l y autonomous. By. defying the gods, who have imposed these l i m i t a t i o n s , he removes from them any r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r hi s a c t i o n and i t s consequences. Nevertheless, despite the hero's s e l f - c r e a t e d i s o l a t i o n , the presence of the gods i s always f e l t i n Sophoclean drama. Even though the hero f i g h t s against them, one f e e l s that perhaps the gods have more concern and respect f o r him than f o r the common man. As Knox says, "the gods too seem to recognize g r e a t n e s s . " ^ In s i x of the seven extant plays of Sophocles (excluding the T r a c h i n i a e ) , the hero i s faced with a choice between two p o s s i b i l i t i e s . He may accept e i t h e r p o s s i b l e (often c e r t a i n ) d i s a s t e r or a compromise that, i f accepted, w i l l betray the hero's conception of himself, h i s r i g h t s , and h i s duties. Having decided against the course of compromise, 10 the hero f i n d s h i s d e c i s i o n a s s a i l e d , but n e v e r t h e l e s s r e f u s e s to y i e l d ; 1 8 he remains t r u e to h i s p h y s i s . Ajax decides to d i e r a t h e r than to submit. Antigone remains l o y a l to her bro t h e r and E l e c t r a to her f a t h e r . P h i l o c t e t e s r efuses to go to Troy. Oedipus Tyrannus i n s i s t s on knowing the t r u t h about L a i u s ' murder and about h i m s e l f , and Oedipus Coloneus i n s i s t s on being b u r i e d i n A t t i c s o i l . I t i s t h i s r e s o l u t i o n of the hero th a t leads to the dramatic t e n s i o n of the p l a y s . The r e s u l t a n t e f f e c t o f t h i s dramatic a c t i o n on the hero and h i s s i t u a t i o n , Knox t h i n k s , i s w e l l d e s c r i b e d by the image comparing Oedipus as a b l i n d o l d man t o "some sea cape i n the North, w i t h the storm waves b e a t i n g a g a i n s t i t from every q u a r t e r , ravxo^ev 3O*PELOS (Ss T L S axxa/ HuyaniXn? x E ,-»uepLa HAOveixau.. ( 0 .C. 1 2 4 0 - 1 2 4 1 ) . In the s i x p l a y s under c o n s i d e r a t i o n , the mold i n vzhich the hero i s c a s t , the s i t u a t i o n i n which he i s p l a c e d , h i s i n t r a n s i g e n c e , and the formulas of language w i t h which he and h i s opponents express themselves are a l l s i m i l a r . C e r t a i n r e c u r r e n t p a t t e r n s of c h a r a c t e r , s i t u a t i o n , and language that, are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Sophoclean tragedy f o l l o w . The hero's d e c i s i o n and r e s o l v e to act are always announced i n emphatic, 19 uncompromising terms. The form of a t t a c k on h i s r e s o l v e that i s most d i f f i c u l t to r e s i s t i s the emotional appeal of those having c l a i m s on h i s a f f e c t i o n s , such as Tecmessa's appeals to Ajax ( i n the name of her l o v e and h i s son), Chrysothemis' to E l e c t r a , Jocasta's to Oedipus Tyrannus, 2 0 and P o l y n e i c e s ' to Oedipus Coloneus. The u s u a l a s s a u l t on the hero's 2 1 w i l l i s an appeal to reason (not to emotion). The method of r a t i o n a l argument i s persuasion (uet§w, ueuSouat). The hero disobeys by w i t h s t a n d i n g 2 2 persuasion (anuaxew). The hero needs to l e a r n , i n the eyes of h i s 2 3 f r i e n d s and enemies. The appeals to reason and emotion and the a d v i c e to r e f l e c t and be persuaded c o n s t i t u t e a demand f o r the hero t o y i e l d 11 (eCxetv). An appeal to r e t r e a t i s made to a l l Sophoclean heroes; heroes, however, do not know how to give i n to misfortunes (Ant. 471). The hero refuses to y i e l d , r e p l y i n g to such a demand with the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y Sophoclean word eav ("leave alone, allow, l e t " ) . The hero w i l l not l i s t e n (xAuetv, axoueuv), thus making i t hard to urge surrender on him. j-26 The hero does not want to hear. He w i l l not l i s t e n , but hears enough to know that he i s under attack and reacts s w i f t l y and v i o l e n t l y , 27 c r e a t i n g a d i f f i c u l t p o s i t i o n f o r those t r y i n g to advise him. A l l heroes tre a t advice and objections i n the same f i e r c e way—they are a l l angry heroes, and any attempt made to sway or hinder them provokes t h e i r 28 anger. To the people around them t h i s angry, stubborn temper seems "thoughtless, i l l - c o u n s e l l e d . " To the outside xrorld the hero's temper i s "mindless, senseless, mad," and the hero seems to be unable to think 29 - . out the r i g h t course of a c t i o n . The hero can even be described as ucopos, " f o o l i s h . " The condemnation of the hero's temper i s a moral as w e l l as i n t e l l e c t u a l one, and to h i s f r i e n d s and enemies h i s mood seems to be one of xdAuri and dpctaos, "overboldness, rashness, insolence, audacity." The hero i s a l s o described i n such terms as ayptos, " w i l d " ( l i k e a beast), diuo's, "raw, savage," axAnpds, "hard" ( l i k e metal). One word applied to a l l the heroes to describe t h e i r character and a c t i o n i s 6euvds, "strange, dreadful, t e r r i b l e . " The heroes are 6EUVOL because they lac k a sense of proportion and a capacity f o r moderation. The actions of these heroes, as w e l l as the heroes themselves, are Tiepoaaa, "outsized, extraordinary, prodigious." Those confronting them hold a f u t i l e hope that these heroic possessors of i n c o r r i g i b l e natures w i l l i n time r e a l i z e what i s good f o r them and that the hero can be taught by time 30 to change h i s stubborn mind and r e a l i z e the truth. The hero, however, remains unchanged, since time and i t s imperative of change are exactly what the Sophoclean hero d e f i e s . A l l - p o w e r f u l Time, i n f a c t , i s the hero' r e a l adversary and to r e j e c t i t i s , i n Oedipus' words to Theseus, " t o be i n love with the impossible." By h i s r e f u s a l to accept human l i m i t a t i o n s , the hero achieves h i s true greatness, not by the help and encouragement of the gods, but by h i s l o y a l t y to h i s nature i n t r i a l , s u f f e r i n g , and death. In the opinion of the other characters the hero i s unreasonable, s u i c i d a l l y bold, impervious to argument, i n t r a n s i g e n t , angry, and i m p o s s i b l e — a b l e to be cured only by time. In the eyes of the hero, however, the opinion of others i s i r r e l e v a n t ; he i s l o y a l only to h i s 31 conception of himself. Antigone j u s t i f i e s her defiance of p u b l i c opinion and of the p o l i s by her e u y e v e t a (claim of noble b i r t h ) , xAeos (desire f o r g l o r y ) , and e u o x f t e u a ( r e l i g i o u s f e e l i n g s ) . E l e c t r a , Ajax, Oedipus Tyrannus, Oedipus Coloneus, and P h i l o c t e t e s a l s o experience these same a t t i t u d e s . Motives may d i f f e r , but the mood i s the same i n a l l . Driven by § u u d s (passion), they are closed to the appeals of reason. They do possess reason but w i l l not l i s t e n to i t , p r e f e r r i n g to obey the commands of t h e i r passionate natures that are exasperated by the f e e l i n g that they are treated d i s r e s p e c t f u l l y ( a x t p w s ) or are, at l e a s t , denied f u u n (respect). In such cases t h e i r own sense of worth and 32 c o n s i d e r a t i o n of what i s due to them from others are outraged. Forming an extreme impression of t h i s lack of respect, they f e e l that 33 the world as well i s mocking them, and they turn more f i r m l y i n t o themselves. Resenting those whom'they consider responsible f o r t h e i r s u f f e r i n g s , they appeal for vengeance and curse t h e i r enemies, although they use no more dreadful curse than that t h e i r enemies may experience what they themselves are s u f f e r i n g . 13 In this way the hero enters into his (previously mentioned) characteristic isolation. He is (or becomes) yo'vos (alone), and epriuos (abandoned, deserted), not only isloated from men but abandoned by the 35 gods. So total is his isolation that at certain moments he addresses 36 himself to the landscape, which is unchanging and will not betray him. The final result of the hero's isolation from the world of men is his 37 wish for death. By choosing death, he arrives at the logical end of his refusal to compromise. Living in human society is one continuous compromise of subduing one's own will and desires to the requirements of others. In Sophoclean tragedy i t would be a betrayal of the hero's physis for him to compromise and s t i l l respect himself. To surrender 38 would cause him to lose his identity. A strong sense of his identity, his individual and independent existence, his difference from others and his resultant uniqueness, and his own worth as an individual, is a marked trait of the hero. This highly developed sense of individuality is significant in determining his action. His decision at a critical moment becomes a matter of choosing between defiance and loss of identity (the latter choice being impossible for him to make). The anger he feels at the world's denial of respect becomes further exasperated, because he feels his sense of worth has been violated. In moments of crisis and abandonment this sense of or belief in himself becomes his only support. Sophoclean heroes are aware of and insist on their uniqueness and sharply differentiated individuality. Philoctetes is a prime example of this; having lived alone brooding on his wrongs for ten years, he is very conscious of his own identity. With their fierce sense of independence, heroes will not submit to being ruled but remain free, finding the choice of slavery over freedom an intolerable one. Having set his own conditions for 14 e x i s t e n c e , the hero i s more prepared to leave l i f e than to change and i n s i s t s on a s s e r t i n g h i s w i l l to the a b s o l u t e end of d e f i a n c e , death. In h i s r e f u s a l to accept the l i m i t a t i o n s imposed on humans by m o r t a l i t y and i n h i s r e s i s t a n c e to the imperatives of time and circumstance ( a l l t h i n g s change, but he w i l l n o t ) , the hero makes what Knox r e f e r s t o as "an assumption of d i v i n i t y . " (This i s not t o say that the heroes ever c o n s c i o u s l y c l a i m t o be gods.) "Only the gods are e t e r n a l and unchanging" ; and, i n the words of Oedipus to Theseus, " e v e r y t h i n g e l s e i s confounded by a l l - p o w e r f u l time" (O.C. 609). Once h i s d e c i s i o n has been taken, the Sophoclean hero i s , a c c o r d i n g to Knox, immovable, deaf t o appeals and p e r s u a s i o n , to reproof and t h r e a t , u n t e r r i f i e d by p h y s i c a l v i o l e n c e , even by the u l t i m a t e v i o l e n c e of death i t s e l f , more stubborn as h i s i s o l a t i o n i n c r e a s e s u n t i l he has no one t o speak t o but the u n f e e l i n g landscape, b i t t e r at the d i s r e s p e c t and mockery the world l e v e l s at what i t regards as a f a i l u r e , the hero prays f o r revenge and curses h i s enemies as he welcomes the death 40 that i s the p r e d i c t a b l e end of h i s i n t r a n s i g e n c e . The f i n a l p o i n t i n t h i s l i s t of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i s of p a r t i c u l a r importance i n r e l a t i o n t o the Sophoclean hero, because only the f a c t o f death can make an a c t i o n h e r o i c . "Heroism and tragedy are the p e c u l i a r 41 province and p r i v i l e g e of m o r t a l men." The a n c i e n t Greek mind seems.to have considered passionate s e l f -esteem almost d i v i n e , no matter how weakly j u s t i f i e d i t might have 42 been or to what crimes i t l e d . N i l s s o n says, i n r e l a t i o n to h e r o - c u l t s , that a hero i s not recognized because of h i s s e r v i c e s but because he 43 possesses some s p e c i a l s t r e n g t h , which i s not n e c e s s a r i l y b e n e f i c e n t . 15 The a t t r a c t i o n that the hero was able to o f f e r to the ancient Greeks was the assurance that some people are capable of superhuman greatness. The hero, by denying the imperatives that others obey i n order to l i v e , served as a reminder that a human may at times defy the l i m i t s imposed on one's w i l l by fear of p u b l i c opinion, community-action, or death, refuse to accept h u m i l i a t i o n and i n d i f f e r e n c e , impose h i s w i l l despite 44 the consequences to others and himself. He echoes the Homeric war-hero, 45 because he values h i s own l i f e as nothing. He w i l l be echoed by Socrates ; i n great c r i s e s of the soul he i s l o y a l to the guiding p r i n c i p l e of h i s l i f e . I I I . Whitman 46 For C. H. Whitman the Sophoclean hero becomes even more i d e a l i z e d . He b e l i e v e s that Sophocles held a s i n g l e r e l i g i o u s hope, namely, a hope i n the ultimate value of man. Likewise, he believes that a s i n g l e t r a g i c idea underlies the wide d i f f e r e n c e s of Sophocles' p l a y s , and that i s "the idea of t r a g i c arete or s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e h e r o i s m . " 4 7 The true a c t i o n of every Sophoclean play l i e s i n the behavior and w i l l of the t r a g i c hero, and every Sophoclean t r a g i c hero i s an example of arete. His encounters with d i s a s t e r s and t r i a l s r e s u l t from the c l a s h between h i s arete and the imperfections of other human beings, the t r a d i t i o n a l gods, and l i f e i t s e l f . The indomitable w i l l of the s t r u g g l i n g hero, and not the conventional Olympian f i g u r e s , i s the source of true d i v i n i t y . What many c r i t i c s take as the hero's f a u l t s (here the hero becomes very i d e a l i z e d ) are not f a u l t s , but signs of h i s p e r f e c t i o n that c o n f l i c t with the blindness and wrongness of l i f e about him. The chorus and "normal" characters become only a framework to set o f f by contrast the unique 16 48 greatness of the hero. The moral nature of the hero's p o s i t i o n must be judged by h i s own standard, as he reveals i t i n the play. With h i s self-knowledge and supreme arete, the hero has a d i v i n i t y w i t h i n himself that i s often i n opposition to the "gods" of popular. b e l i e f who Whitman f e e l s are seen e i t h e r as amoral symbols of the laws 49 of l i f e or as p o s i t i v e l y unjust. Through h i s moral a c t i o n of s e l f -immolation or endurance, the hero combines h i s own inner d i v i n i t y with that of the amoral and non-active God, to form the all-embracing realm of u n i v e r s a l d i v i n i t y or Being as a whole. The Sophoclean hero has a r e f i n e d and true understanding of himself that allows for the p o s s i b i l i t y that, although i n the mind of others he i s a law unto himself, he may be acting i n obedience to a true law that remains beyond the v i s i o n of others. Whitman believes that the hero himself has r e a l self-knowledge whereas others have only r u l e s of behavior; and therefore, i f the Sophoclean dramas teach sophrosyne, the sophrosyne i s i n the character of the hero, not i n the chorus or l e s s e r characters. It uay be customary to side with the forces opposing the hero i n the b e l i e f that they alone are d i v i n e ; however, although they are us u a l l y d i v i n e , they are not of necessity morally r i g h t . Choral c r i t i c i s m convicts Antigone of harshness and stubbornness, Oedipus of rashness of temper, P h i l o c t e t e s of obstinacy, Ajax of a noble and overweening a t t i t u d e , and E l e c t r a of drawing more t r o u b l e on h e r s e l f than necessary by her constant mourning for A g a m e m n o n . A l l these f a u l t s are e s s e n t i a l l y the same thing—stubbornness, s e l f - w i l l e d independence, authadeia—which keeps the hero from y i e l d i n g to h i s fate and makes him t a l k harshly and proudly. Since, i f we t r u s t the chorus, we must beli e v e that Sophocles wrote only about the e v i l e f f e c t s of stubbornness, Whitman asks why, i f stubbornness i s a f a u l t the gods 17 51 punish, i t i s not c o n s i s t e n t l y punished." 5 1 To rebuke the protagonist 52 for h i s f a u l t s i s to imply that one knows what he should have done. Whitman r e j e c t s A r i s t o t l e ' s theory of hamartia, because he b e l i e v e s that the sin-and-punishment formula turns the plays i n t o i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of 53 A r i s t o t l e , not of Sophocles. He a l s o r e j e c t s A r i s t o t l e ' s view that a play showing the f a l l of a p e r f e c t l y j u s t man would be d i s g u s t i n g (Poetics 1452 b36). "Many a play showed the f a l l of a j u s t man, and the men of the f i f t h century seem 54 not to have been disgusted at a l l . " Whitman holds Plato's c r i t i c i s m of tragedy to be v a l i d , i n i t s consideration that the good man-did not receive h i s deserts and that tragedy did show the world's i n j u s t i c e . Sophocles was perhaps concerned not with j u s t i c e , but with d i v i n e i n j u s t i c e . . Maybe h i s world was not subject to simple moral r u l e s , but r e a l l y was t r a g i c . The point that Whitman makes i s that Sophocles was r e l i g i o u s rather than pious, and therefore the Sophoclean hero "seems to be l e s s under o b l i g a t i o n to worship the gods than to f u l f i l l h i s duty to himself."^^ IV. Bowra and Schadewaldt Bowra and Schadewaldt both hold views d i f f e r e n t from Whitman's. Bowra claims that "the c e n t r a l idea of a Sophoclean tragedy i s that through s u f f e r i n g a man learns to be modest before the gods.""'7 He speaks of the " h u m i l i a t i o n " of the hero before the gods as the necessary c o n d i t i o n of h i s "coming to peace" with them and considers that most of the heroes, although f a r from f a u l t l e s s at the beginning of the play, by the end of the play have had t h e i r i l l u s i o n s removed and accept the ways of the gods. Schadewaldt subordinates the Sophoclean hero to the gods t o a s l i g h t l y l e s s e r e x t e n t t h a n Bowra do e s . He b e l i e v e s t h a t t h e a b s o l u t e c h a r a c t e r o f t h e s u f f e r i n g s o f t h e h e r o i s emphasized by h i s i s o l a t i o n and t h e a p p a r e n t h o p e l e s s n e s s o f h i s p o s i t i o n . T h r o u g h h i 58 s u f f e r i n g s t h e h e r o f i n d s h i s t r u e s e l f and p r o v e s h i s h e r o i c g r e a t n e s ( t h i s b e i n g p o s s i b l e o n l y b e c a u s e h i s a f f l i c t i o n i s a b s o l u t e ) . L i k e Bowra, S c h a d e w a l d t b e l i e v e s t h a t t h e c r i s i s o f t h e p l a y changes t h e h e r o h y b r i s i n t o s o p h r o s y n e , t h u s r e s t o r i n g harmony between him and t h e gods. Knox c o u n t e r s t h i s v i e w by r e m a r k i n g t h a t , S o p h o c l e s p r e s e n t s u s f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e w i t h what we r e c o g n i z e a s a ' t r a g i c h e r o ' : one who, u n s u p p o r t e d b y t h e gods and i n t h e f a c e o f human o p p o s i t i o n , makes a d e c i s i o n w h i c h s p r i n g s f r o m t h e d e e p e s t l a y e r o f h i s i n d i v i d u a l n a t u r e , h i s p h y s i s , and t h e n b l i n d l y , f e r o c i o u s l y , h e r o i c a l l y m a i n t a i n s t h a t 59 d e c i s i o n even :to t h e p o i n t o f s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n . When t h e h e r o ' s d e c i s i o n , made w i t h o u t t h e s u p p o r t o f t h e go d s , i s c a r r i e d t h r o u g h t o h i s s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n , t h e r e seems t o be l i t t l e t i m e , o p p o r t u n i t y , o r even d e s i r e f o r t h e h e r o t o exchange h i s h y b r i s f o r s o p h r o s y n e and t o come i n t o harmony w i t h t h e g o d s . ^ V. Webster I n t h e above q u o t a t i o n f r o m Knox t h e r e i s a m e n t i o n o f p h y s i s . S o p h o c l e s ' development o f t h e h e r o ' s p h y s i s f o r m s one o f T.B.L. W e b s t e r ' s 61 s i x b a s i c a s p e c t s o f t h e S o p h o c l e a n h e r o . A c c o r d i n g t o W e b s t e r , t h e h e r o i s c o n s c i o u s o f h i s b i r t h a n d , a s one who i s n o b l y b o r n , c o n f o r m s t o c e r t a i n s t a n d a r d s o f l i f e and a c t i o n . As a member o f a f a m i l y , he has a d u t y t o be l o y a l t o h i s p a r e n t s and a r i g h t t o e x p e c t l o y a l t y from h i s c h i l d r e n ; a f f e c t i o n i s b a s e d on t h e s e d u t i e s , r i g h t s , and s t a n d a r d s . 19 Ajax f e e l s he cannot return home without having won as much g l o r y before Troy as had h i s father, Telamon (xcu, TIOLOV o u u a i t a x p t 6n.Acoau) cpaveus T e X a u a i v u , 462), and, i n turn, demands the same courage from h i s son, Eurysaces ( x a p B n a e u y a p ou,/ v e o a c p a y n ^ o u xdv6e upoaAeuaawv i p d v o v , 545-546). Antigone b e l i e v e s that her duty to her brother outweighs her duty to the state, a b e l i e f that arouses her strong a f f e c t i o n (ouxot ouvexSecv, aXXa ouyq>i,A£bV e t p u v , 523, also 89, 907). E l e c t r a l i k e w i s e has a deep a f f e c t i o n f o r and sense of duty to her deserving r e l a t i o n s (father and brother, Agamemnon and Orestes; 1232): v q u L O S os xSv ouxxpSg/ ouxoyevwv yovimv enuAdSexac, 145-146). Oedipus i n the Tyrannus f e e l s the t i e s of kinship very strongly. He loves and respects h i s supposed parents.: i n Corinth, Polybus and Merope, so much that he leaves them f or the purpose of f o i l i n g the or a c l e (998). He al s o has a f f e c t i o n f o r Creon, as h i s brother-in-law (85), Jocasta (772), and h i s c h i l d r e n , e s p e c i a l l y h i s daughters (1480). Oedipus i n the Coloneus has the same a f f e c t i o n f o r h i s daughters, which they have won because they f u l f i l l t h e i r duty to him (1205-1615). By disregarding t h i s duty, Creon and h i s sons have earned h i s hatred (337ff., 418, 1365). P h i l o c t e t e s i s able to form a bond of f r i e n d s h i p with Neoptolemus because they both speak the common language of the noble and hold the same i d e a l s ( x n v cpuauv 6'e6£L^as, 1310). L i k e Ajax, P h i l o c t e t e s has a deep a f f e c t i o n f o r h i s father ( n a x p t y * d)g 6eu ' £ r i s cpu'Afj), 492, a l s o 1210). In Webster's view, frankness, f o r t i t u d e , and sensitiveness to shame a l s o belong to the a r i s t o c r a t i c i d e a l Sophocles a t t r i b u t e s to the hero. Oedipus i n the Tyrannus wants Creon's news published to a l l (eg n a v x t t s au'6a, 93), and Antigone. (86) and E l e c t r a (1033) scorn concealment of t h e i r designs. Ajax regards i t as dishonorable to lament i n misfortune-20 Ttpos Y&P xaxou xE Mal 3apu<Jjuxou yoovg/ TOUOUO6' aeL nor' avSpos E^rr/Ecx' E X e t v . , 319). E l e c t r a (354), P h i l o c t e t e s (535-, 733), and Oedipus i n the Coloneus (5, 798) with t h e i r l o n g - l a s t i n g p h y s i c a l and mental a f f l i c t i o n s are the most notable examples of f o r t i t u d e . E l e c t r a i s a slave i n her fathe r ' s house; P h i l o c t e t e s i s abandoned on a l o n e l y i s l a n d with a gangrened f o o t , Oedipus has been driven i n t o e x i l e by h i s own sons. These various misfortunes a f f e c t t h e i r r e s pective heroes by making them emotional and u n f o r g e t f u l and unforgiving of those res p o n s i b l e , but they cannot break t h e i r heroic f o r t i t u d e . Some e v i l s that the hero s u f f e r s are too great to bear. Oedipus Tyrannus (n cpoveuacxx', 1411) and P h i l o c t e t e s (cpovqt cpovcjl vdos n6n, 1208) i n the lowest depths of t h e i r misery would rather d i e than l i v e . Ajax, i n the r e a l i z a t i o n of h i s tarnished honor, f i n d s death to be the only cure f o r h i s shame (dXXct UE ov\>6a£E,ov 361, otpou YEXOJTOS, OLOV uBpta^nv apa, 367). Antigone prefers to die rather than accept the dishonor of leaving her brother unburied (EL 6E TOU XPOVOU itpda§£V davouuotL, xepfios aux' kySi XEYW, 461). E l e c t r a wants to d i e because i t i s i n t o l e r a b l e to her that she can not do her duty to her father's memory (us X^pts UEV, nv Kxdvn, Xuitri 6', eav TOU $C"OU 6'OU6EUS itd§os, 821). The Sophoclean heroes (except Oedipus i n the Coloneus) offend i n some way against the p o l i t i c a l i d e a l of Sophocles that the r u l e r r u l e s i n the i n t e r e s t of h i s people and that the subject obeys him. Antigone (453) and E l e c t r a (617) both r a t e the duty owed to t h e i r k i n as higher than that owed to the state. Ajax i s not prepared to obey h i s general Agamemnon (667,-1069). P h i l o c t e t e s i s l i k e Ajax i n h i s hatred of the Atr i d a e and i n t r y i n g to take j u s t i c e into h i s own hands, which he does when he attempts to shoot Odysseus (1299). Webster next states that, "besides the claims of family and st a t e , men have a duty to the gods.""*' However, Knox' consideration of the isolation of the hero and his abandonment by (or of) the gods seems to 63 be a truer observation of the hero. At the time of making their decisions, Antigone and Electra may have regarded the honor that they strive to pay to their dead kinsmen as a service to the gods imposed onthem by the laws of the gods. During the course of the play, however, our awareness focuses on the actions of Antigone and Electra and their obsessions to carry out their own w i l l . We are not particularly conscious of the po s s i b i l i t y that that w i l l i s a handmaiden of the gods. One i s , in fact, conscious of the absence of the gods from the hero. Of Oedipus, Webster writes, "He only departs from the traditional religion in moments of extreme s t r e s s . P e r h a p s this i s the key to the problem, for i t seems that his departure from the traditional religion i s more important in understanding him than his adherence to i t . Both Ajax and Philoctetes have been driven to believe that the gods are malignant. Webster notes that the only place where Ajax reaches true reverence is during the monologue, when he says he i s going to purify himself of his stains. It i s of interest that this i s said during Ajax' "deception" speech. The overriding belief of Ajax is that he is strong enough to stand alone without the advice and help of the gods. itaxep, §eots uev xav 6 un.6ev uv ouou xpdxos xotxaxxnaauT'• eyw 6e xal 6LXC xeuvurv nenotSa TOUT' eTiuaTtdacuv xXeos (767-769). As for Philoctetes, Webster claims, rather unconvincingly, that his prayers for vengeance imply that the gods are just (but cf. 446ff.). Webster i s more convincing in his next category. "Sophocles regards the virtue of sophrosyne as second only to piety. His chief characters 22 65 are not remarkable f o r i t , " but e x h i b i t arrogance, v i o l e n c e , haste, i n f l e x i b i l i t y , and f o l l y . Ajax i n h i s arrogance prays that h i s son may resemble him i n everything but fortune (550). Ajax (885), Antigone (471), and Oedipus Tyrannus (371) d i s p l a y f i e r c e s p i r i t s ; a l l of them have a s t r a i n of c r u e l t y and v i o l e n c e . Ajax (540), Oedipus (73), E l e c t r a (169), and P h i l o c t e t e s (635) are a l l impatient as w e l l as prompt to take a c t i o n (A^. 116; P h i l . 1299; Ant. 37; E l . 431, 938; O.T.68, 794, 810,1058). Webster's f i n a l point i s that the v i c e s of arrogance, v i o l e n c e , haste, i n f l e x i b i l i t y , and f o l l y are c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to the v i r t u e s that the characters possess, such as s p i r i t , energy, firmness, and i d e a l i s m VI. G e l l i e G. H. G e l l i e echoes the view expressed i n Webster's f i n a l point when he claims that Sophoclean t r a g i c heroes must be great-hearted, courageous, proud, self-contained, and also r e f l e c t the p e j o r a t i v e mirror-images of the good a t t r i b u t e s by being stubborn, rash, and s e l f - c e n t e r e d . In G e l l i e ' s judgment, "The great Greek tragedies normally take a ready-made s t a t e of e v i l and the protagonist i s c a l l e d upon to deal with i t . The nature of things i s such that whatever a c t i o n he takes w i l l 66 be wrong, but he acts and he i s destroyed by h i s a c t i o n . " Therefore, i t i s the protagonists who carry the themes of t h e i r plays and t h e i r characters that must accommodate themselves to those themes. Their minds are made up, they are beyond argument, they are committed (and thus, according to G e l l i e , lack a dimension as p e r s o n a l i t i e s ) , they refuse to admit heart-searching, and they lack appeal. On the contrary, the most 23 rounded characters are generally the l e a s t Important persons i n the p l a y s . With t h e i r reasoned i n a c t i o n or u n w i l l i n g a c t i o n , they serve as counterparts to the protagonist and h i s heroic a c t i o n . Weakness, cowardice, and good sense r e s u l t from unheroic q u a l i t i e s . VII. Kirkwood Such unheroic q u a l i t i e s , according to Kirkwood, are secondary themes i n a Sophoclean play, along with the f o l l o w i n g ; f a t e , d i v i n e power and knowledge, human character with i t s ignorance, shortcomings, and wisdom and magnificence. In Kirkwood's view, heroic q u a l i t i e s are of primary importance. "At the heart of every play of Sophocles there l i e s the l i f e - g i v i n g combination of strong character and r e v e a l i n g s i t u a t i o n . " ^ 7 Sophoclean drama c o n s i s t s e s s e n t i a l l y of a s e r i e s of t e s t s of the c e n t r a l f i g u r e , from each of which he emerges newly 68 revealed and with added strength. Two quotations from Kirkwood introduce one of h i s basic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the Sophoclean hero. "A Sophoclean tragedy i s a serious play i n which a person of strong and noble character i s confronted with a c r u c i a l s i t u a t i o n and responds to i t 69 i n h i s s p e c i a l way." This c r u c i a l s i t u a t i o n must involve s u f f e r i n g on the part of the p r i n c i p a l character. "Sophoclean tragedy i s an a c t i o n i n which admirable character and c r i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n are combined; the s i t u a t i o n involves r e l i g i o u s and moral issues and e n t a i l s s u f f e r i n g for the leading f i g u r e . " 7 ^ A l l t r a g i c heroes s u f f e r . Of the s i x heroes under c o n s i d e r a t i o n Ajax, Antigone, and Oedipus i n the Tyrannus have the most unrelieved s u f f e r i n g , which ends i n death or d i s a s t e r . Whether they are the v i c t i m s of circumstances, of gods, or of men, or are responsible f o r t h e i r own 24 f a t e s i s unanswerable.^* I t would be a case of o v e r s i m p l i f i c a t i o n to a t t r i b u t e to the hero unmixed p e r f e c t i o n or to suppose that h i s s u f f e r i n g i s e n t i r e l y a punishment f o r h i s g u i l t . The inescapable conclusion, according to Kirkwood, i s that Sophocles means us to see that neither a malevolent d e i t y nor f a t e , but the hero himself i s to a c e r t a i n degree responsible f o r what happens to him. An example i s the scene with Creon i n Oedipus Tyrannus, which i s "a demonstration of the b l i n d i n g power of 72 Oedipus' impetuousness and s e l f - r e l i a n c e . " Throughout the play there are examples of Oedipus' f a u l t s and h i s magnificence, ne i t h e r of which 73 should be overlooked. The concern cannot be with the absolute p e r f e c t i o n of the hero, nor with the question of h i s crime and punishment, but with the question of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of h i s character f o r h i s f a t e . Even an o r a c l e does not remove r e s p o n s i b i l i t y from the hero. In the case of Oedipus, h i s acts were "not predestined, merely predicted. An 74 e s s e n t i a l d i s t i n c t i o n . " Kirkwood b e l i e v e s that Sophocles i s not intent on emphasizing the hero's moral shortcomings, but only that some element of character i n each p r e c i p i t a t e s the catastrophe (e.£. , Ajax' v i o l e n c e , Antigone's uncompromising stubbornness). I t i s j u s t such an imperfection that allows the t r a g i c hero, to be brought to l i f e as a human being. He possesses the standard human equipment of emotions and f r a i l t i e s , but more than the standard devotion to an i d e a l of conduct. Although every Sophoclean t r a g i c hero encompasses much that i s heroic i n the moral sense, he i s s t i l l not a hero i n the absolute sense. Ajax having set out to murder h i s f e l l o w c h i e f t a i n s i s obviously culpable; Oedipus i n the Tyrannus i s excessively impetuous and s e l f - r e l i a n t ; Antigone i s h o s t i l e and comtemptuous i n her disobedience of Creon's e d i c t . Such c r i t i c s as. Bowra and W e b s t e r , by o v e r s t r e s s i n g t h e t r a g i c h e r o ' s f a u l t s and f a i l i n g t o r e c o g n i z e t h e e s s e n t i a l v a l u e o f h i s n o b i l i t y , s u g g e s t t h a t S o p h o c l e s w i s h e d t o show t h a t man s h o u l d be modest o r t h e gods w o u l d p u n i s h him. Between t h a t v i e w and t h e o t h e r e x t r e m e o f t h e i m p e c c a b i l i t y o f t h e t r a g i c h e r o (Whitman), K i r k w o o d s u g g e s t s a compromise, w h i c h he f e e l s i s demanded by t h e p l a y s . "The f a u l t s o f t h e t r a g i c h e r o e s a r e i n t h e c l o s e s t p o s s i b l e c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e i r s t r e n g t h and n o b i l i t y . " 7 " ' The v i o l e n c e o f A j a x , r a s h n e s s o f O e d i p u s , s t u b b o r n n e s s o f A n t i g o n e a r e p a r t i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e i r c a t a s t r o p h e s , b u t a r e a v i t a l p a r t o f t h e i r g r e a t c h a r a c t e r s as S o p h o c l e s p r e s e n t s them, b e c a u s e t h e y c o u l d n o t be t h e g r e a t f i g u r e s t h a t t h e y a r e w i t h o u t t h e s e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . The i m p e t u o u s n e s s o f O e d i p u s i s c o u p l e d w i t h h i s c o u r a g e o u s i n s i s t e n c e on t r u t h , w h i c h makes h i m g r e a t . The s t u b b o r n n e s s o f A n t i g o n e i s l i n k e d t o h e r s t r e n g t h o f c h a r a c t e r i n h e r l o y a l t y t o h e r f a m i l y . The v i o l e n c e o f A j a x i s p a r t o f h i s f i r m d e v o t i o n t o s o l d i e r l y h o n o r . " W i t h o u t t h e i r k i n d o f h a m a r t i a t h e y w o u l d 76 n o t have t h e i r k i n d o f h e r o i s m . " S o p h o c l e s was n o t i n t e r e s t e d in...a f l a w l e s s h e r o , b u t i n t h e i n t r i c a t e i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e o f f a u l t and g r e a t n e s s i n t h e h e r o . N e v e r t h e l e s s , " t r a g i c f a u l t i s n o t g u i l t , and t r a g i c s u f f e r i n g i s n o t p u n i s h m e n t . " 7 7 The m i s f o r t u n e s t h a t overwhelm t h e h e r o e s a r e n o t m o r a l l y d e s e r v e d i n terms o f t h e i r c h a r a c t e r , a l t h o u g h t h e i r c h a r a c t e r does p r e c i p i t a t e t h e s u f f e r i n g . A l t h o u g h t h e s u f f e r e r s sometimes a s c r i b e c r u e l t y t o t h e gods, t h e r e i s no e v i d e n c e i n S o p h o c l e s , a c c o r d i n g t o K i r k w o o d , o f t h e w i l l f u l i n f l i c t i o n o f s u f f e r i n g by a d e i t y on a t r a g i c h e r o . The S o p h o c l e a n t r a g i c h e r o e n d u r e s h i s s u f f e r i n g and r i s e s t o t h e s t a t u r e o f a m o r a l h e r o b e c a u s e o f h i s d e v o t i o n t o an i d e a l , w h i c h makes 26 him o b l i v i o u s to the advice and common sense of h i s f r i e n d s , and s t e a d f a s t a g a i n s t h i s enemies. Ajax i s l o y a l to the i d e a l of m a r t i a l honor; Antigone, of l o y a l t y to her f a m i l y and " i n t u i t i v e " r e l i g i o u s c o n v i c t i o n ; E l e c t r a , of the de v o t i o n to her f a t h e r ; P h i l o c t e t e s , of the r e f u s a l to compromise w i t h dishonesty and the r e c o g n i t i o n of Neoptolemus' n o b i l i t y . Kirkwood expresses t h i s k i n d of devotion to an i d e a l i n terms of " n o b i l i t y , " the charac t e r of the euyevris, a word used by Sophocles i n re f e r e n c e to one "of noble b i r t h " and "of noble nature"; i t expresses the essence of heroism. Regardless of the.hero's e x p l i c i t v i n d i c a t i o n i n or a f t e r l i f e , the greatness of the euyevris avnp i s r e c o g n i z a b l e i n h i s person. Kirkwood's use of euyevns seems to be r e l a t e d to Knox' emphasis on cpv3aus; to be euyevns i s i n part a matter of one's own nature. Antigone t e l l s Ismene that by her a t t i t u d e toward the b u r i a l of P o l y n e i c e s she w i l l show: e"x' euyevns Ttetpuxas eux' ko%\&\> xaxn P h i l o c t e t e s t e l l s Neoptolemus t h a t euyevris n cpuoxs ( h i s nature i s noble) and he i s e£ euyevwv (874, descended from those of noble n a t u r e ) . When a p p l i e d to the h e r o i c s p i r i t , euyevns has both a pers o n a l and a moral meaning. The greatness of the hero's d e v o t i o n t o n o b i l i t y shows that i n heroism there e x i s t s an enduring v a l u e that stands f i r m i n s p i t e 78 of s u f f e r i n g and death. T h i s i s made c l e a r by Sophocles' way of c o n t r a s t i n g the h e r o i c w i t h the u n h e r o i c — O e d i p u s w i t h Creon, Antigone w i t h Creon and Ismene, Ajax w i t h Odysseus. V I I . Lesky The heroes have s o u l s tormented by the f u l l n e s s of t h e i r knowledge of what t h e i r present s i t u a t i o n means. According to A. Lesky, the r e s u l t of t h i s i s t h a t " i n t h e i r a c t s they do not show the calm wisdom of 27 O d y s s e u s , t h e v e r y e x c e s s o f t h e i r e n e r g y m a k e s t h e m c o l l i d e w i t h t h e u n f o r e s e e a b l e ; i t t h r o w s t h e i r l i v e s i n t o a c o n f u s i o n f r o m w h i c h o n l y 79 d e a t h c a n r e l e a s t h e m . " A s u m m a r y o f L e s k y ' s v i e w s a s a p p l i e d t o i n d i v i d u a l S o p h o c l e a n h e r o e s f o l l o w s . F o r a c h a r a c t e r s u c h a s A j a x , w h o r e c o g n i z e s t h a t h i s h o n o r h a s s u f f e r e d t h e d e e p e s t h u m i l i a t i o n , n o e s c a p e e x i s t s b u t d e a t h . A j a x p r o c l a i m s i n h i s f i r s t s p e e c h a f t e r h a v i n g r e g a i n e d h i s s a n i t y t h a t , t h e r e i s n o m i d d l e w a y f o r h i m b e t w e e n a g r e a t l i f e a n d a g r e a t d e a t h , o u x a v Kpuatunv o u 6 e v o s X d y o u ( 3 p o x 5 3 v OOTLS MEVauauv e A i t t a t v d e p y a J v e x a u . a X X n x a X G s C n v n MC*X&S xe^vnMevau x o v e u y e v f j X P H ( H 7 7 - 4 8 0 ) . I f t h e w o r d s o f h i s d e c e p t i o n - s p e e c h h o l d a d e e p e r s i g n i f i c a n c e , L e s k y b e l i e v e s , i t c a n o n l y b e t h a t t h e h e r o s u r v e y s m o d e s o f p o s s i b l e b e h a v i o r a l i e n t o h i s n a t u r e , r e c o n c i l i a t i o n t o w h i c h a r e i m p o s s i b l e f o r h i m . B y t h e e n d o f t h e p l a y , a l t h o u g h h e i s d e a d , A j a x h a s g a i n e d h i s r i g h t s a n d t h e q u a r r e l i s e n d e d . T h r o u g h h i s d e a t h , A j a x h a s r e s t o r e d h i s h o n o r a n d e q u i l i b r i u m , w h i c h h i s a c t i o n h a d d i s t u r b e d . T h e A j a x c o n c l u d e s o n a n o t e o f s e r e n i t y , t h e h e r o ' s c a t a s t r o p h e h a v i n g t a k e n p l a c e n o t f a r b e y o n d t h e m i d d l e o f t h e p l a y ; t h e A n t i g o n e f i n i s h e s w i t h a c o n f l i c t r e s o l v e d . I n b o t h c a s e s t h e d i s t u r b e d w o r l d - o r d e r r e g a i n s i t s e q u i l i b r i u m . J u s t a s t h e o n l y p a t h open t o A j a x i s t h e o n e i r r e v o c a b l y d e t e r m i n e d b y h i s c h a r a c t e r , s o i t i s f o r A n t i g o n e . I n t h e A n t i g o n e t h e c o m p a r i s o n o f A n t i g o n e a n d I s m e n e r e s u l t i n g f r o m t h e i r c o n f l i c t " c o n j u r e s u p t h e i m a g e o f t h e S o p h o c l e a n h e r o , w i t h h i s u n c o m p r o m i s i n g d e t e r m i n a t i o n , f o r w h o m a r e a d i n e s s t o ' b a r g a i n * t o c a l c u l a t e a n d t o e v a d e n o t o n l y a c t a s a f o i l b u t m a y e v e n a p p e a r a s t h e 80 t e m p t a t i o n t h a t c a n n o t l u r e h i m . " T h e r e s u l t o f t h a t d e t e r m i n a t i o n i s 28 that Ismene turns away from Antigone, leaving her i n the l o n e l i n e s s 81 that c h a r a c t e r i z e s the Sophoclean hero. Haemon, Antigone's betrothed, remains i n the background of the play. There i s no scene i n which they appear together on stage, not only because such a scene would be in c o n s i s t e n t with Antigone's l o n e l i n e s s , but also because, according to Lesky, there i s "no place f or Eros as a subjective experience i n 82 Sophoclean tragedy." Therefore, when Haemon eventually speaks out because of h i s love f o r Antigone, he does not mention t h i s love. In the Oedipus Tyrannus the t r a g i c hero stands out against a background of those who y i e l d or avoid a d e c i s i v e choice. His absolute determination i s p i t t e d against an overwhelming power, but the d i g n i t y of a great human being remains i n t a c t i n him even i n defeat. The main c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Oedipus ( l i k e that of Ajax, Antigone, and E l e c t r a ) i s h i s s u p e r l a t i v e energy and unbending resolve i n a c t i o n . It i s p o s s i b l e f o r him to avoid the f a t e that closes i n around him, but he cannot because i t would be a feeble compromise made f o r the sake of token-peace and f o r mere existence; such an acceptance i s the one thing the t r a g i c hero fi n d s impossible. Oedipus becomes a hero because h i s w i l l i s inexorable, even when i t leads to de s t r u c t i o n . I t i s unthinkable for him to wish the t r u t h had remained hidden. Great t r a g i c f i g u r e s take up t h e i r f i g h t because t h e i r concern i s for human d i g n i t y , not mere existence. Average persons who want to be secure and stay a l i v e are by t h e i r sides as embodiments of temptation. Tecmessa i s by the side of Ajax, Ismene by Antigone, Chrysothemis by E l e c t r a , and Jocasta by Oedipus. In Lesky's view, the t r a g i c hero i n Sophocles i s subjected to t e r r i b l e tensions. He must r e l y on h i s own inner strength, because i t 83 alone allows him to take up the f i g h t against "the powers of l i f e . " He i s depicted by Sophocles as a f i g u r e e n t i r e l y s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t ; whatever 29 he does i s prompted e n t i r e l y by h i s own w i l l , although the outcome remains outside of h i s c o n t r o l . E l e c t r a with her awareness of the disgrace of her house and with her demand f o r revenge i s i n contrast to the compromising Chrysothemis who, although she knows the meaning of absolute i n t e g r i t y , i s incapable of i n d i v i d u a l a c t i o n . Chrysothemis 1 withdrawal a f t e r E l e c t r a ' s d e c i s i o n to perform the act of revenge h e r s e l f , as does Ismene's from Antigone, throws E l e c t r a ' s l o n e l i n e s s i n t o r e l i e f . The f e e l i n g s , thoughts, and plans of E l e c t r a , as the main f i g u r e i n the drama, are the focus of the play's events. The progress of her soul from anguish and despair to l i b e r a t i o n i s an i n t e g r a l part of the drama. Lesky quotes two formulas that attempt to f i n d a mid-point between the extreme views of Sophoclean f i g u r e s as 'types' and 'characters,' to f i n d a compromise betweenwhat he dismisses as 'mosaic-type character p o r t r a i t s ' and the view' that Sophoclean heroes have no 84 characters at a l l . At t h i s point i t w i l l be u s e f u l to return to Knox and thus to complete the small c i r c l e of opinions on the Sophoclean hero that have been mentioned above. Knox f e e l s that these two formulas do not s u f f i c e , that they leave l i t t l e place f or "that i r r e d u c i b l e center of p a r t i c u l a r i t y , of uniqueness, which i n the l a s t a n a l y s i s . . . i s the only 8 5 source of the heroic w i l l to defy the world." It i s because of t h i s idea of p a r t i c u l a r i t y and uniqueness that, j u s t as no one c r i t i c ' s view can be considered e x c l u s i v e l y , a general p o r t r a i t of the hero as has been presented here cannot be the exclusive guide for the present assessment of the hero i n the Trachiniae. Deianeira and Heracles w i l l be considered i n r e l a t i o n to themselves and each other, as w e l l as i n r e l a t i o n to the models of the Sophoclean hero that have been presented i n t h i s chapter. 3d NOTES — CHAPTER ONE J. C. Kamerbeek, The Trachiniae, included i n The Plays of Sophocles, Part I I , (Leiden, 1959) 27-29. F. R. Earp, The Style of Sophocles (New York, 1944) 79, 108. Contra M. Pohlenz, Erlauterungen (Gbttingen, 1954) 86; A.Lesky, Die  Tragische Dichtung der Hellenen (Stuttgart, 1956) 119; Cedric H. Whitman, Sophocles, A study of Heroic Humanism (Harvard, 1951) 49. Kamerbeek, 29. "Only one thing i s c e r t a i n , and that i s that the superb mastery of the Oedipus Rex cannot have preceded the experimental Trach i n i a e . I t remains, therefore, that the Trachiniae stands t h i r d i n the order of extant p l a y s " (Whitman, 49). G. M. Kirkwood, A Study of Sophoclean Drama (Ithaca, 1958) 170. Those already f a m i l i a r with these views could proceed d i r e c t l y to chapter two. Poetics 1452b. Tr a n s l a t i o n s are by Richard McKeon, Introduction to  A r i s t o t l e (New York, 1947). Poetics 1453b. Although t h i s passage does not deal d i r e c t l y with the hero, i t may be u s e f u l i n determining or v e r i f y i n g the hero. For instance, one does not f e e l p i t y and horror f o r Creon or Clytemnestra as one does for Antigone or E l e c t r a . Bernard M. W. Knox, The Heroic Temper Studies i n Sophoclean Tragedy (Berkeley, 1964) 1. 31 1 1 Whitman, 39. 12 Whitman, 39. According to him, "the f a t e of the i n d i v i d u a l who d i d not l i v e f o r centuries presented a spectacle of s u f f e r i n g w i t h i n whose sphere e v i l could be and s t i l l was i r r a t i o n a l " (p. 39). ^ Knox, 3. 1 4 Knox, 7. The plays were i d e n t i f i a b l e by t i t l e i n the l a s t quarter of the f i f t h century, as evidenced by t h e i r appearance i n Aristophanes (e_.£., Ra. 53, 1021, 1026; Th. 770, 850). ^ Knox, 2. Cf. Knox 2, 44 f o r a consideration of the d i f f e r e n t impression created by the t i t l e s of Aeschylus' seven extant plays, i n c l u d i n g The Agamemnon and Prometheus Bound. Knox' view- forms the basis of t h i s chapter. In h i s ensuing development of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Sophoclean hero, Knox b l i t h e l y ignores the Trachiniae. His mold of the hero w i l l therefore be very u s e f u l here f o r determining an o b j e c t i v e measure f o r the Trachiniae (he i s not basing c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the hero on e i t h e r Deianeira or Heracles). I t s usefulness, however, may be tempered when i t i s applied to the Trachiniae because Knox obviously believes that the Trachiniae does not f i t i n t o the " t y p i c a l - c h a r a c t e r " mold that he develops. It may be noted, however, that Knox' exclusion of the Trachiniae seems to be based on the assumption that Heracles i s the hero. (Page 4: "the Trachiniae makes no reference to the eventual d e i f i c a t i o n of the tortured, poisoned hero...."} 1 7 Knox, 7. 32 18 This seems to be quite i n keeping with the idea of the hero's i s o l a t i o n . Being i s o l a t e d , h i s determinations and convictions o r i g i n a t e not e x t e r n a l l y , but i n t e r n a l l y , an h i s i n d i v i d u a l nature or physis. 19 For Ajax' expression of h i s resolve to die see ^nxnxEa (470), HaA&s TeSvnxevaL (479-480), reda^Exau (577), efcyo (654), e l u ' . . . O U O L nopeuxeov (690), apKxeov (853). For Antigone's expression of her resolve to act see ftcf^a) (72), xaAdv... SavEtv (72), MEtaouai, (76), Tiopeuaoyau (81). For Oedipus Tyrannus' expression of h i s determination to dis c o v e r the t r u t h see cpavto (132), ouw a v uL^oLynv (1065) dpxxeov (628), dxouaxeov (1170). For E l e c t r a ' s expression of her a f f i r m a t i o n of her l o y a l t y to her father see ou AriCw (103),ou oxnato (223), E u a e u y a u a v a i (817-819), SpaafEOV (1019). For P h i l o c t e t e s expression of h i s r e f u s a l to go to Troy see ou6euoTE ye (999), OUOE'TCOX' OU6EIT:OT' (1197), ou6e'uod' (1392). For Oedipus Coloneus' expression of h i s resolve to be f r e e from the Thebans see oux.-.Sv cE,cX%o^\i' (45), O U X . . . U T ) xpaxTiawauv (408). 20 Tecmessa appeals to Ajax (Auaaoyat 368, dvxud^a) 492, uxvouyau 588); Chrysothemis appeals to E l e c t r a (Aujooyau 428, dvxLaCu) 1009); Jocasta appeals to Oedipus Tyrannus (Ataaoyat, yn.6pav xd6E 1064); Polyneices appeals to Oedipus Coloneus (LxEXEUoysv 1327). 21 napauvw (advice) and V O U ^ E T W (admonition) are the words used to describe the attempts made to move the hero. Tecmessa says to Ajax au 6'oux* TIE tan; (592). Chrysothemis says exactly the same words to E l e c t r a (402). Antigone i s r e f e r r e d to as dituaxouaav (381) 23 The chorus says to E l e c t r a , " I f you could l e a r n to b e n e f i t from her words" (ud$oLs370).Jocasta t e l l s Oedipus to l i s t e n to her and learn (pad* 708). 24 euxeuv occurs in a l l six plays, in the context of an attack on the hero's resolution. Its use to characterize the demand made on the hero i s almost exclusively Sophoclean. 25 Ajax t e l l s Tecmessa to "Speak to those who would l i s t e n to you" (TOUS axououauv 591). Chrysothemis says she "must l i s t e n to the powers that be in everything" (axouaTea 340). xAdei,v,axodeuv in Sophocles often have the sense of being subject to authority, or obeying action, something that the heroic nature w i l l not admit. 26 Oedipus Tyrannus says, "Who would not be angry listening to such words?" (xA-u'wv 340). Philoctetes would sooner l i s t e n to the serpent, his mortal enemy (xAuoou* 632), than to Odysseus. 27 Ajax t e l l s Tecmessa to get out and c a l l s her a fool. Antigone harshly dismisses Ismene ("Don't fear for me; make a success of your own l i f e " 83). Electra t e l l s Chrysothemis that she hates her for her cowardice (aTuy5 .1027). 28 » The word 6pyn i n the sense of "anger" i s frequently used in reference to the heroes. 29 Not only i s the hero's temper avous and acppojv, but most of the heroes themselves are referred to in words that implicitly or ex p l i c i t l y compare them to wild animals. 30 Creon at Colonus says to Oedipus, "Not even time, i t seems, has grown brains i n your head" (ou6e xij> xpovco 804). Chrysothemis says to Electra, 34 "You refuse to be taught by the passing of time" (kv xpovy uaxptj) 6u6ax§rivaL 330). Ajax begins h i s "deception-speech" by saying " A l l things long uncounted time brings f o r t h from darkness and hides again from l i g h t " (6 uaxpbs..-xpdvos 646). 31 Knox, 28. 32 » P h i l o c t e t e s says that the Atridae threw him ashore axuyov (1028). Ajax says that he perishes axLuos (440). Oedipus Coloneus claims he was expelled from Thebes ouxwg dxuy^s (428). 33 P h i l o c t e t e s thinks he i s the laughing stock f o r the A t r i d a e (yeAwai, 258) and f o r Odysseus (ycXqt you 1125). Ajax i s tormented by the thought of h i s enemies' laughter at the f a i l u r e of h i s attempt on them (oCyot yeAwxos 367). E l e c t r a l i k e w i s e i s tormented by the thought of her enemies' laughter (yeXtoot 1153). See a l s o Ant. 839, and O.T. 1422. 3 4 Knox, 32. 35 36 Perhaps i t would be more accurate to say that he abandons the gods. P h i l o c t e t e s speaks to the i s l a n d (938 and 1081); Ajax addresses h i s l a s t words to the sun, the l i g h t , Athens, and various parts of the Trojan landscape (864); E l e c t r a sings her mourning song to the elements (86); Oedipus Tyrannus speaks to Mount C i t h a i r o n (1391); Antigone addresses the tomb i n the rock (891). 3 7 Cf. Aj_. 361, 387, 394, 479, 684, 822, 854; E l e c t r a 821, 822, 1165; Ant. 72, 462, 555; Q.T. 832, 1255, 1451; P h i l . 749, 796, 800, 1001, 1207. 38 It can also be said of the hero's i s o l a t i o n from the world of men that i t i s caused at l e a s t as much by the hero's abandonment of societ y as by 35 s o c i e t v ' s abandonment of the hero. 39 Knox, 43. Knox, 44. 41 Knox, 50. 42 Cf. Knox 56, 57 i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n of the l i f e and hero-cult of Cleomedes. 43 Martin N i l s s o n , A H i s t o r y of Greek R e l i g i o n , 194; as c i t e d by Knox, 175, note 84. 44 According to N i l s s o n , the claim of the c u l t hero i s an expression of naked power and strength and has no r e l a t i o n to moral or higher r e l i g i o u s ideas. 4 5 P l . Ap_. 41b. 46 Cedric H. Whitman, Sophocles, A Study of Heroic Humanism (Harvard, 1951). 47 Whitman, 81. 48 "At t e n t i o n must be focused not on the chorus, which embodies the framework, but on the hero himself" (Whitman, 16). 49 This p o s i t i o n i s contrary to the b e l i e f that the gods are j u s t and that whoever ( i . e_. , the hero) crosses c e r t a i n l i m i t s of behavior i s g u i l t y of hybris (the opposite of sophrosyne) and i s j u s t l y doomed, a b e l i e f that Whitman considers to be almost wholly untragic, i f not wholly untrue. According to Whitman, the conclusion i s often reached that the protagonist i s g u i l t y of d i f f e r i n g with the gods because he d i f f e r s with the chorus. 36 5 0 Ant. 471, O.T. 616, P h i l . 1045, Aj_. 481-484, E l . 217-220, also Trach. 121-126. (The chorus i s sympathetic to Deianeira, but s t i l l rebukes her f o r her i n a b i l i t y to bear her l o n e l i n e s s more hopefully.) Antigone i s punished, E l e c t r a triumphs; Ajax d i e s , P h i l o c t e t e s i s d i v i n e l y enlightened; f o r her gentle res i s t a n c e Deianeira meets an ignominious f a t e ; the rash, i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c Oedipus i s eventually taken up to heaven (not any more subdued). 52 For Oedipus the e r r o r occurred when he slew h i s father and married h i s mother. He was innocent i n that he acted i n ignorance; he was wrong i n that he d i d these things. 53 whitman, 37. "The hamartia theory may take many forms, but i t always f i t s the c r i t i c better than i t f i t s the play." 54 Whitman, 35. 5 5 R e P - 392al3-b6. Whitman, AO. 57 C. M. Bowra, Sophoclean Tragedy (Oxford, 1945) 365. 58 I t seems more l i k e l y that the hero knows himself before h i s s u f f e r i n g s , and that knowledge allows and even causes the hero to endure h i s s u f f e r i n g s . Knox, 5• ^ Whitman (24) c r i t i c i z e s Schadewaldt's p o s i t i o n because i t incorporates the sin-and-punishment formula and the notion of the t r a g i c flaw. T. B. L. Webster, An Introduction to Sophocles (Oxford, 1936). I t should 37 be noted that Webster's use of the word physis i s perhaps rather more general than i s Knox'. ^ Webster, 63. 63 My purpose here i s not to deny a claim l i k e Kirkwood's (10) , that Sophocles i s concerned with moral and sometimes r e l i g i o u s problems, but to point out that the gods are o f t e n j u s t t h a t — a problem f o r the hero. The hero's r e a l duty i s to himself and h i s physis. His duty to the gods can e x i s t only to the degree that the gods are present w i t h i n him. 64 Webster, 64. Webster, 65. 6 6 G. H. G e l l i e , Sophocles: A Reading (Melbourne 1972) 208. ^ Kirkwood, 11. 6 8 C. R. Post, "The Dramatic Art of Sophocles," HSCP 23 (1912) 71-127. 69 Kirkwood, 10. 7 ^ Kirkwood, 16. I t has already been mentioned that Whitman, i n h i s i d e a l i z e d view, believes that the s u f f e r i n g r e s u l t s not from the f a u l t s of the hero, but from the i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y of h i s excellence with the world about him. 72 Kirkwood, 172. 73 My question i s whether the f a u l t s and magnificence of the hero can be separated. 38 74 Bernard Knox, "Sophocles' Oedipus," included i n T r a g i c Themes i n  Western L i t e r a t u r e (New Haven, 1955), edited by Cleanth Brooks, 22. Kirkwood, 175. 7 6 Kirkwood, 175. 7 7 Kirkwood, 176. 78 Perhaps i t stands f i r m because of s u f f e r i n g and death? 79 A l b i n Lesky, Greek Tragedy, t r a n s l a t e d by H. A. Frankfort (New York, 1965) 101. 8 0 Lesky, 104. 81 "...and a l l great things i n the world," Lesky adds (104). 82 Lesky, 104. 83 Lesky, 117. 84 In r e l a t i o n to Sophoclean c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n he quotes Wilhelm Humbolt, who be l i e v e s that not the i n d i v i d u a l but the human being i s to appear, and he i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d by the simple t r a i t s of h i s character. Lesky a l s o quotes Gerbert Cysarz, who believes that Sophoclean characters have p e r s o n a l i t y , not j u s t i n t e r e s t i n g i n d i v i d u a l i t y , and they hold to the norm instead of the e c c e n t r i c . Knox , 37. 39 CHAPTER TWO DEIANEIRA The r o l e of Deianeira, who c e r t a i n l y dominates the f i r s t 946 l i n e s of the play, w i l l now be analyzed. Deianeira w i l l be considered i n l i g h t of the models of the Sophoclean hero that Were given i n chapter one. In each case the aptness of the model w i l l be discussed and c r i t i c i z e d . I . A r i s t o t l e A r i s t o t l e ' s " synthesis" requires that the misfortune of the t r a g i c hero be "brought upon him not by v i c e and depravity but by some e r r o r of judgment" and that the hero himself be "of the number of those i n the enjoyment of great reputation and prosperity."* Deianeira's f i n a l misfortune appears to be caused t o t a l l y by her misjudgment i n sending the robe anointed with Nessus' "love p h i l t r e " to Heracles and not by any xotHUX or u o x Q n p u a i n her character. Whether yeydXn od^a nai C U T U X ^ C I are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Deianeira or not i s perhaps not so c l e a r . As the wife of the "best of men," she i s e n t i t l e d to, and i s s u r e l y seen by others as possessing, "great reputation and p r o s p e r i t y . " I t i s questionable, however, whether she sees h e r s e l f as having these two b l e s s i n g s ; she seems too entangled i n her various worries and woes. In her opening monologue, Deianeira voices among her many a n x i e t i e s : Xexos yap 'HpaxAeu xpuxov ^uoxaa' deu T L V ' ex cpdgou (pdBov Tpecpu), xeuvou TtpOHnpauvouaa (27-29). 40 Chosen as the bride for Heracles and being joined with him, I c o n t i n u a l l y nurse fear a f t e r fear, being anxious for him. Despite the unhappiness of Deianeira's outlook, which begins i n the prologue, her r o l e i n the play s t i l l , i n f a c t , f i t s into A r i s t o t l e ' s requirement that the hero's fortunes change from happiness to misery. Nowhere i s t h i s point more c l e a r l y made than i n Deianeira's opening l i n e s and the c l o s i n g l i n e s of the Nurse's speech des c r i b i n g her death. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , these two passages frame Deianeira's appearance as c e n t r a l f i g u r e i n the play. Adyos yev COT' dpxotLOs dvdpuitwv cpaveug us oux av auJLJv' ExyddoLS 3POTUV, itpuv av %dvr\ TLS, OUT' EL XP^OTOS OUT' EL TU xaxds Eyu 6e xov eydv, xa\, upuv ELS "AL6OU UOXELV, E?OL6' Exouaa 6uaTuxn TE xaY gapuv (1-5). A saying was d i s c l o s e d long ago that you cannot know a man's l o t i n l i f e before he has died, not whether i t i s good or bad. But even before I've come to Death's house, I know well that mine i s heavy and sorrowful. TOuavJTa xdv§d6 * EOTLV. UOT' EL TLS 6UO n xd'xL HXELOUS nyspots XoyL^ETaL, yaTaLOs EOTLV- OU yap EO9 ' n y' aupLov, - uplv EU itapri TLS inv rapouaav fiyepav (94-3-9M-6). This i s the way things are within. I f anyone counts upon two days or even more, he i s thoughtless. For there can be no tomorrow u n t i l we have overtaken the day that i s with us s t i l l . Deianeira, even i n the midst of her i n i t i a l heavy-heartedness, has yet to learn the true bounds of her f i n a l unhappiness. Her i n i t i a l unhappiness i s possible only because she possesses a great j o y, Heracles, and because of her love of him. This joy, although i t produces her unhappiness, i s the source of her l i f e , and, when she claims eyw 6e xov eudv, Mat Ttptv ets "At6oo uoAetv, e£ot6' e'xouoa Suaxuxn re Mat gapdv, she speaks i n ignorance of how 6uaxv>xTis and gapus i s the fate she has yet to s u f f e r . F i r s t , she loses hope i n Heracles' love of her, which leads her to the desperate strategy of the l o v e - p h i l t r e . Then, by using the p h i l t r e , she loses Heracles and a l l p o s s i b i l i t y of recovering h i s love. However, before she "knows her l i f e " and has "come to Death's house," she has heeded the words of the Chorus i n the parodos, and these words mitigate somewhat the t o t a l pessimism of her opening l i n e s . d v a X y n x a yap 01)6' o u d v x a x p a t v w v B a a t A e u s ET ieBaAe S v a r o i s K p o v t 6 a s d A A ' e n t rcnua Mat x a P a u a a t K U x A o u a t v , o t o v d p -MTOU a x p o q ) a 6 e s K e A e u S o t ( 1 2 6 - 1 3 1 ) . Not a painless l o t has the all-accomplishing King, the son of Cronos, dispensed for mortal men. But g r i e f and j o y come c i r c l i n g to a l l , l i k e the turning tracks o f the Bear. By the following l i n e s addressed to H y l l u s , Deianeira i n d i c a t e s that she i s admitting to h e r s e l f the happiness or p o s s i b i l i t y of happiness that remains i n her l i f e . She sees her l i f e as xpnaxds to a degree, instead 42 of t o t a l l y HOMOS' MOIL yap u a x e p u , TO* y' eu npdaaeuv ETIEL nudoLTO, MEp6os EyitoAcji (92-93). One may gain advantage i n l e a r n i n g good news, even i f one learns i t l a t e , Deianeira, a l b e i t h e s i t a n t l y ( cf. 1 1 , 1 8 4 , 1 8 7 , 192), r a i s e s h e r s e l f to a much more p o s i t i v e l e v e l of happiness, which does allow for her fortunes to f a l l , i n A r i s t o t l e ' s words, E£ EUTUXLOS £LS ouoruxuxv. u> ZEU, xbv OLTXIS axoyov os AsLycov' E'XELS, ESUMOS fiytv aAAot auv X P ° V U xapav. qXiiVTiaax' , w yuvaLMES, ot L. T' ELOUJ axEyns au T ' EMXOS auAns, ws SEATITOV o y y ' i]io\ 3 cpnyns d v a a x o v T?}a6E VUV xapnouys$a. ( 200-204). 0 Zeus, you who hold power over the unharvested meadows of Oeta, though i t has been long, you have given us joy. Cry out, 0 you women who are within the house and you who are without since now we reap the f r u i t s of the unhoped for and exalted sunshine of t h i s news. She also becomes for a short period s e l e c t i v e i n her acceptance of news, d e s i r i n g to be t o l d only what w i l l support her happiness. XCILPELV 6E XOV M^pUMa TtpOUVVE'TCU), XPO^V TioAAiJi cpavEVxa, xotpxov EL TU MOLL cpspELS (227-228). 1 proclaim our welcome to the herald, appearing a f t e r a long t i m e - - i f the news i s gladdening. A r i s t o t l e allows that the doers of the tr a g i c deed (i.e_. , the heroes i n a play may act ELSO'TOIS xal yLyvwaMovxas or dyvoouvxas 6E upa^aL TO 6ELVOV, CZ%' uaxepov dvayvaipLortL xnv cpLAuxv Although h i s example of t h i s i s Sophocles' Oedipus, Deianeira and her deed seem to f i t t h i s A3 c h a r a c t e r i s t i c as w e l l , since she too i s ignorant of the e v i l deed she i s committing. A r i s t o t l e also mentions the p o s s i b i l i t y of a character a c t i n g i n ignorance making the necessary discovery i n time to draw back. Deianeira makes her discovery, only she i s not i n time to draw back. Deianeira a c t u a l l y i s i n what A r i s t o t l e (1454a) r e f e r s to as the b e t t e r s i t u a t i o n , that i s , " f o r the deed to be done i n ignorance, and the r e l a t i o n s h i p discovered afterwards." I t i s better than a meditated deed, "since there i s nothing odious i n i t , and the Discovery w i l l serve to astound us." I I . Knox Although Knox does not consider the Trachiniae i n e x t a b l i s h i n g h i s model of the Sophoclean hero, he appears to a t t r i b u t e c e r t a i n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s to h i s model that do i n f a c t apply to Deianeira. Deianeira c e r t a i n l y i s "a s i n g l e p e r s o n a l i t y f a c i n g the supreme c r i s i s of h i s [her] l i f e " " ' and 6 i s "a heroic i n d i v i d u a l whose ac t i o n implies f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . " Deianeira has s u f f e r e d the loss of Heracles' love ( c f . 544ff.) and takes f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the use of the l o v e - p h i l t r e . She places t r u s t i n her confidence (7t LOT L. S, 590) when she uses the p h i l t r e , and, when she discovers that she has acted wrongly, she takes f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y (719-722). According to Knox, the Sophoclean hero i s i s o l a t e d . Deianeira i s i s o l a t e d and experiences the various types of i s o l a t i o n that he mentions, She i s i s o l a t e d by time and space. There i s no past to guide her, because her past and her present are one and the same. In the e a r l i e s t glimpses we have of her l i f e , when Achelous was wooing her, she was so unhappy that she wanted death. 44 6uaxnvos d e l xaxSaveuv eTCnuxo'ynv, Ttpuv T?ia6e xouxns eyueXaaSrivaC* noxe (16-17). And i n my unhappiness I constantly prayed for death before I should ever approach h i s {Achelous"] marriage bed. In c o n t r a s t , consider her statement: Xpo'vcp 6 ' £v uaxepw uev, dayevn 6e you, 6 xXeuvos J\X%e Znvos "AXxyrivns T e ^ats (18-19). But, a f t e r a time, to my happiness there came the famous son of Alcmene and Zeus. However, even t h i s does not i n d i c a t e a beginning of r e a l and knowledgable time for her. She closes her eyes to the combat between Achelous and Heracles, thus le a v i n g that time as an emptiness. She cannot speak of the manner of t h e i r struggles because she does not know them, ou yap oZb' ("I do not know," 22). The beginning of time for Deianeira i n her i s o l a t i < i s when xeXos 6' e§nxe Zeus dywvuos xaXcos, / ei 6n xaXtos ("Zeus p r e s i d i n g over the contest made the end good--if i t has been good," 26-27). Just as Deianeira has no past by which to guide h e r s e l f , she has no future with which to comfort h e r s e l f . Time began for her when she gave up her maidenhood^ and took on the troubles and cares of married l i f e , and she can never return to maidenhood. Her love of Heracles i s the cause of her i s o l a t i o n ; i f she would release that love, she might escape the endless succession of s u f f e r i n g s that plague her. No love, however, e x i s t s 8 for her without Heracles. Deianeira i s i s o l a t e d from Heracles i n time (aXX* f"6n 6exa / yrivas Ttpos dXXots itevx' dxnpuxxos ye'veu, "but already ten months i n add i t i o n to f i v e others and s t i l l there i s no message from him," 44-45) and i n space (Heracles i s l i k e a ytfTriS O T M S dpoopotv E X X O T I O V Xagwv , "a farmer working a d i s t a n t f i e l d , " 32; also X E L V O S 6' ouou / 3e*3nxev ou&ets ou6e, 45 "no one knows where he has gone," 40-41). She i s also i s o l a t e d i n space .as a r e s u l t of Heracles' k i l l i n g of Iphitus : nyeug yev ev Tpaxuvu xp6' avdaxaxot/£ev({) nap' dv6pu vaC*oyev ("we l i v e here i n T r a c h i s , a stranger's 9 guests, forced to leave our home," 39-40. Because of her i s o l a t i o n i n time and space, Deianeira, i n accordance with Knox 1 model of the Sophoclean hero, becomes responsible for her own a c t i o n . * ^ The source and greatness of her action belong to h e r s e l f alone. The free and responsible a c t i o n of t r y i n g to recover Heracles' love does not b r i n g Deianeira through s u f f e r i n g to v i c t o r y , but causes her to f a l l and experience defeat before she reaches the f i n a l v i c t o r y . Just as, before the entrance of l o l e , the s u f f e r i n g and joy of her love for Heracles were fused, so her s u f f e r i n g and glory become fused as a r e s u l t of her use of the l o v e - p h i l t r e . uiv eyw yeSuoxepov, 5x' ouxex' dpx e L, xriv yddriatv apvuyau. ydvn yap auxdv, et TL yn ^euaSnoouai, yvwyns, eyw 6uaxnvos e£aitocp$epco (710-713), But I have come to understand l a t e r , now when i t i s of no use. I alone, unless my fears are f a n c i f u l , I , his unhappy wife, s h a l l u t t e r l y destroy him. Deianeira does not set out consciously or knowingly to k i l l Heracles; she discovers her action yeQuaxepov. A d e f i n i t e sense of f i n a l i t y pervades her r e a l i z a t i o n of what she has done. oux eoxuv ev xous yn xaAoug BouAeuyaauv ou6* eAnus,. rjxus xal §pdaos TI, npo^evet (725-726). Not i n bad plans i s there any hope that leaves any place for courage. She does not even make an attempt to i n t e r c e p t her g i f t to Heracles, j u s t as she does not attempt l a t e r to explain h e r s e l f to H y l l u s . She has destroyed her joy by destroying Heracles and any p o s s i b i l i t y of r e c e i v i n g love from him, and so, n e c e s s a r i l y , the character of her s u f f e r i n g changes. Deianeira, by " s a c r i f i c i n g " Heracles, has destroyed her worries and cares, but she has also destroyed her own r a i s o n d'etre. Knox 1 Sophoclean hero renders h i s a c t i o n f u l l y autonomous by r e f u s i n g to accept h i s human l i m i t a t i o n s and by defying the gods, who are guardians of these l i m i t s . When Deianeira finds she cannot endure to share her marriage with l o l e ( xb 6' au £uvoLxetv xrj6' ouou rug av yuvn I 6uvatxo , xotvwvouaa xuiv auxwv yaytov; "But to l i v e i n the same house with her, sharing the same marriage, what woman could stand t h a t ? " 545-546), she refuses to accept her human l i m i t a t i o n s . opuj yap nBnv xnv yev epuouaav upoaai, xriv 6e cpdL*vouaav (547-548). For I see her youth coming to f u l l bloom and mine fading. Just as Deianeira feared to grow up, she fears to grow o l d , and she takes a desperate step i n order to avert what she fears w i l l be the consequence of her growing o l d . When she resorts to Nessus' l o v e - p h i l t r e i n order to regain Heracles' love, she defies her own words. "Epwxu yev vuv baxtg avxavCaxaxaL itUMxns bums i z xet-PaS, o u xaATbg cppoveX (441-442). How f o o l i s h one would be to r i s e up against Love and try to trade blows with him, l i k e a boxer. In a sense, Deianeira seems to be obeying Love("Epo)g - 441,Kunpug : - 497) as w e l l as defying Lpve. I t i s her love of Heracles that compels her to contest Heracles' love of l o l e . Perhaps Love i s only t h e r e f e r e e as was the case i n the b a t t l e between Heracles and Achelous: udva 6* euAexxpos ev ueau Kuitpus 11 pagSovdueu £uvouaa (515-516). Alone, i n the middle with them, Cypris, the goddess, br i n g i n g wedded happiness, sat as umpire. However, something about the power of the "charms" (the l o v e - p h i l t r e ) and Deianeira's determination not to be supplanted by Iole seems to suggest more her defiance than her obedience to C y p r i s 1 w i l l , even though i t i s her love of Heracles that causes her to act. Deianeira withdraws h e r s e l f from the power of Cypris and seeks other means to r e t a i n her love. tptAxpous 6' edv itus xr*v5* uTcepBaAcopeda T?IV uaL6a xou. deAxTpoi.au TOLS etp' 'HpaxAeu, ueurixd * v r I T a L Toupyov. ( 5 8 4 - 5 8 6 ) . But i f somehow by these charms, these s p e l l s used on Heracles, we can surpass the g i r l - - w e l l the move i s made. At l i n e 492 she spoke of Seouai, 6uauaxo0vxe£. S t r i f e against Eros means s t r i f e against d i v i n e powers i n general, against nature, and 12 against Fate i t s e l f . I t i s the very thing that w i l l crush Deianeira ( XOUTOU vdaov y ' eitaxTov e£apouye$a, / deotat Suauaxouvxes " i s h a l l not choose to take on a strange new disease by f i g h t i n g i n v a i n against the gods," 491-492). 13 Knox believes that i n s i x of Sophocles' extant plays the hero i s faced with a choice between p o s s i b l e , and often c e r t a i n , d i s a s t e r , or a compromise that w i l l betray h i s conception of himself, h i s r i g h t s , and his d u t i e s . The hero decides against compromise, finds h i s d e c i s i o n a s s a i l e d , but refuses to y i e l d . His r e s o l u t i o n leads to the dramatic 48 tension of the plays. This d e s c r i p t i o n f i t s Deianeira. She i s faced with what i s i n essence j u s t such a choice; to t r y by unknown, u n t r i e d methods to regain Heracles' love, or to allow I o l e to remain i n her house and Heracles' f e e l i n g s for I o l e to remain uncontested. The f i r s t course may, i n Deianeira's eyes, lead to possible d i s a s t e r from the very beginning of i t s conception. OOTIDS exec y ' h itcaxuSj ws TO uev Soxetv eveoTu, iteCpa 6' ou itpoacouuXnad icw (590-591). I have so much confidence; there seem to be good prospects, but I have bever brought them to the t e s t . Deianeira takes her d e c i s i v e step not unaware that some r i s k i s involved. Ker desire to see the r e s u l t s demands action (as, to a c e r t a i n extent, i s the case with Oedipus); TIOXUTCXCXYXTOS e^nus drives her to i t . 1 4 dXX' auTLx' ebao'yeaSa.. . (594). Well, we s h a l l know soon, yo'vov nap' uyuiv eZ O T e y o u u ' <I)s OXOTW xav ataxpct itpdaans OUTIOT' atax^vri rceafl (596-597). Only, may my secret be well kept by you. One may do shameful things and never f a l l i nto shame. Even i f no other chance of d i s a s t e r e x i s t s , the p o s s i b i l i t y of the shame o f a f a i l e d attempt remains. The second course, compromise, would betray Deianeira's conception of h e r s e l f , because i t i s only as" the wife o f Heracles that she f i n d s her i d e n t i t y . Even when Heracles i s away, she defines h e r s e l f , her r i g h t s , and her duties i n terms o f him. She sees Iole as a threat, TOUT* ouv cpoBouyau yn TIOOLS uev 'HpaxXris eyos xaXriTau, TTIS vewTe'pas 6' dvnp (550-551) 49 And t h i s i s why I am a f r a i d that Heracles may be c a l l e d my husband but. the younger woman's man, and i s not prepared to share the r i g h t s and duties of her marriage ( c f . 5 4 5 - 5 4 6 ) with her. Deianeira immediately decides against the compromise of p a s s i v e l y accepting the state of a f f a i r s she predicts i n l i n e s 550 - 5 5 1 : ? 6' e x u , (puAau, / AuTnpuov Aucpnua , xrj6' y p t v cppdaco ("The way i n which I have, dear f r i e n d s , a s o l u t i o n and a means of r e l i e f , I s h a l l t e l l you e x a c t l y , " 5 5 3 - 5 5 4 ) . I n i t i a l l y , she does not f i n d her d e c i s i o n a s s a i l e d , and, i f i t were, l i n e 586 (eu 6e u n, Tterauaouat) seems to i n d i c a t e that she would 15 not refuse to y i e l d . However, t h i s i s perhaps due to the p e c u l i a r r e l a t i o n s h i p between Deianeira and the Chorus'^''"^ and i t must be noted that they i n no way encourage Deianeira, who despite her studied hesitance, d i s p l a y s a c e r t a i n eagerness to carry out the a f f a i r (ctAA* auTux' eLadpeada, "we s h a l l know soon," 594). Deianeira makes her own d e c i s i o n and c a r r i e s out her plan with assurance and firmness, as her speech to Lichas i n d i c a t e s ( 6 0 0 f f . ) : ocAA' epue, xau cpuAaaae npwta uev v d u o v , TO pn 'KL-Supeuv itoynos a>v n e p t a a a 6pav (616-617) Go now, and as a messenger be sure to keep the r u l e not to desire to exceed your orders The r e a l strength of her r e s o l u t i o n becomes apparent a f t e r she has discovered the h o r r i b l e e f f e c t s o f the p h i l t r e ; she w i l l die with Heracles Tautri auv opuri ("under the same b l o w , " 720). The disastrous r e s u l t of her d e c i s i o n not to compromise i s now c e r t a i n , but i t has only served to strengthen her resolve not to l i v e without Heracles. Deianeira has prevented l o l e from usurping her p o s i t i o n ( c f . 551) although i n doing so has a n n i h i l a t e d her own p o s i t i o n as Heracles' wife. Deianeira's. 50 s i l e n c e when her son a s s a i l s her (749ff.) i s c l e a r evidence of the strength of her d e c i s i o n . Her r e s o l u t i o n i s emphasized even more by the Chorus' question that follows her f i n a l departure: xt auy* dcpepiteus; ou wdxoLaft' 6§ouvexa ^uvnyopeus ai/ySaa xtj> xaxrvydpij); (SIS-SIU). Why do you go o f f i n silence? Don't you see that by s i l e n c e you j o i n your accuser? A few deviations i n Deianeira from Knox' model of the Sophoclean hero begin to appear when we consider her r o l e with reference to recurrent patterns of character i n s i t u a t i o n and language, but s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t i e s also appear. The d i f f e r e n c e s seem to r e s u l t more from the uniqueness of her p a r t i c u l a r function as hero than from the p o s s i b i l i t y that she i s not i n f a c t the hero. According to Knox, the Sophoclean hero's d e c i s i o n and resolve to act are always announced i n emphatic, uncompromising terms; he c i t e s the use of the verbal a d j e c t i v e s , future tenses, and a tone that allows no 17 argument. Throughout the play Deianeira maintains three d i s t i n c t but d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d r e s o l v e s , a l l of which are advanced and c a r r i e d out, and a l l f u l f i l l i n g to varying degrees Knox 1 "requirements." She resolves to know the t r u t h about l o l e and Heracles, to use Nessus 1 l o v e - p h i l t r e , and to die i f she has inadvertently k i l l e d Heracles. While examining Deianeira's p o s i t i o n with respect to these three r e s o l v e s , i t w i l l be p r o f i t a b l e also to pay attention to any attack on her resolve and whether 18 i t f i t s i n t o the categories determined by Knox. Deianeira's determination to know the' truth about l o l e begins even before anything has been mentioned about the other's r e l a t i o n s h i p to Heracles. She p e r s i s t e n t l y and emphatically attempts to e l i c i t information from Lichas--e5etT[' ("speak out," 312), she orders. Lichas' almost s u c c e s s f u l method of dissuading her from pursuing the t r u t h i s to feign ignorance. His persuasion i s si l e n c e (auyri xo.uuov Epyov fiwrov, "I performed my task i n s i l e n c e , " 319). Since Lichas has blocked her path by s i l e n c e , Deianeira turns to Iole h e r s e l f , eCi:*, w xdAatv' ("do t e l l us, poor c h i l d , " 320), she orders, but i s again met with s i l e n c e . ou xapa T(j) y £ itpoadev OU6EV eE, "CTOU Xpdvu SuTioet y^waaav, nxus ouSaua npoi5q)rivev ouxe ueuCov' oux' sAdaaova (322-324). I t w i l l be quite unlike her manner up to now i f she loosens her tongue, since she has not s a i d one word ye t , neither more not l e s s . She cannot act further on her resolve u n t i l she learns from the Messenger that Lichas i s h i d i n g the fa c t s from her. At t h i s point Deianeira begins her f i g h t against the persuasion of Lichas' s i l e n c e . She questions him f i r m l y (398, 400) and then begins a speech of persuasion (436ff.) to convince him of her resolve to know the t r u t h . She i s emphatic and uncompromising; she does not express h e r s e l f i n as severe terms as, say, Oedipus Tyrannus when confronting T e i r e s i a s and l a t e r the Herdsman, but she i s determined nevertheless. un*, upo's 0E TOO xax* axpov OuxaLov vdrcos Atos Maxaaxpdnxovxos, EMMAC^TIS Ao'yov (436-437). By Zeus who flashes l i g h t n i n g over the topmost glen of Oeta, I implore you, do not cheat me of the t r u t h ! dAA' EL.KE Ttav xdAn^ss (453). T e l l me the whole t r u t h . ouws 6e Anaeus, ou6e xouxo yCyvera^ (455). That you w i l l escape detection i s not p o s s i b l e , i t cannot happen. . xeu yev 6e*6oLHcx£, ou MaAuis xapgeug, eiteu ...y' dAyuveuev av (457-458). Are you a f r a i d of h u r t i n g me? Your fear i s senseless. aou 6' eyw (ppa£u) Haxbv ripbs aAAov eu'vau, itpbs 6' ey* dc|;eu6euv deu (468-469). To you I have t h i s to say; Though you may be f a l s e with others, never l i e to me. Deianeira refuses to be persuaded by s i l e n c e and falsegood to give up her search for knowledge of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between l o l e and Heracles. The second r e s o l u t i o n , to use the l o v e - p h i l t r e , has been mentioned previously i n connection with Deianeira's choice of possible d i s a s t e r rather than compromise; and, to everyone except the Chorus, she announces 19 her resolve i n emphatic, uncompromising terms. Note how she follows Lichas' confession of Heracles' love for l o l e , which concludes with the f o l l o w i n g two l i n e s : d)g xdAA' CMeuvog navx' dpuoxeuuiv x £P°uv TOU xria6' e p t o T o g eus diavd' fiaauv etpu (488-489). Against a l l else he has won by strength; but by t h i s love for her he has been completely vanquished. Deianeira says dAA' u>6e Hal cppovouyev waxe TauTa 6pav ("such i s my way of t h i n k i n g , and so s h a l l I a c t , " 490). She means that she w i l l be kind to l o l e and show that the words she spoke before she knew the t r u t h "were sa i d i n a l l s i n c e r i t y " (486-487), but i t i s conspicuous that her f i r s t thought and action deal with the l o v e - p h i l t r e (d x* dvxu Scapcov \ 20 6upa XP n rcpoaapydaau , "There are g i f t s i n return for the g i f t s you brought--these too you must take," 494-495). 53 When she has prepared the robe for Heracles, she t e l l s the Chorus i n f i n a l terms m l TteiteupavxcxL xd6e ("Now i t i s a l l done" 581), and, seeking t h e i r reassurance, adds with q u a l i f i c a t i o n s pepn/avTai, xoupyov 21 ("the move i s made" 586). The Chorus force Deianeira to make her own d e c i s i o n and thus, i n a c e r t a i n sense, i s o l a t e her even from themselves. By making that d e c i s i o n , she removes h e r s e l f from the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e c e i v i n g advice from anyone concerning her action or the r e s u l t s of her a c t i o n . She makes the d e c i s i o n h e r s e l f , and consequently, i n true heroic fashion, accepts the f u l l and exclusive r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for that d e c i s i o n . aXX' £L.6evao xPn 6puaav ("One can only t e l l from a c t i o n " 592), the Chorus says, and Deianeira promptly and r e s o l u t e l y puts her plan into a c t i o n , otuxux' eCao'peoda ("We s h a l l know soon" 594), she t e l l s the Chorus. epite, nai yvXaooe nptoxa pev vdpov ("Go now, and be sure to keep the r u l e " 616), she orders Lichas, and at 624 she t e l l s him oxetxots av fi&n ("You should be going now"). Deianeira hurries Lichas on almost as i f she fears that something w i l l force her to reconsider. She i s impatient to carry out her d e c i s i o n . There i s no r e a l p o s s i b i l i t y that Deianeira can be dissuaded from carryingout her r e s o l u t i o n , because no one besides the Chorus knows of i t . Deianeira h e r s e l f provides her own (and the strongest) attack on her resolve, but only u n t i l the d e c i s i o n has been made. Once i t i s reached, she i s f i r m i n her resolve. Although i t s course i s d i f f e r e n t from what she imagined or wished, she c a r r i e s i t through to i t s necessary end--her death. Deianeira's t h i r d r e s o l u t i o n i s to d i e , and she announces i t i n the most emphatic and uncompromising terms of a l l , s i l e n c e . One cannot argue and plead against s i l e n c e . However, as i s the case for her second r e s o l u t i o n , no one seems to recognize that she has decided to d i e . When she 54 r e a l i z e s the h o r r i b l e e f f e c t s produced by the l o v e - p h i l t r e , she announces her d e c i s i o n emphatically to the Chorus : 22 xaLxou 6e6oxTau, HEUVOS ei a<pa Aria eta t, TauT^i auv opprj Motpe auvSaveuv apa (719-720). And yet I have made a d e c i s i o n : i f he f a l l s , I s h a l l die under the same blow with him. But they do not comprehend i t s r e a l s i g n i f i c a n c e , because they have not 23 yet admitted the p o s s i b i l i t y that Heracles' death i s i n e v i t a b l e . D e i a n e i r a 1 s i s o l a t i o n i s so great that no one knows her resolve except h e r s e l f ; therefore, i t i s not possible for her to be faced with any attempt to dissuade her from her plan. In a way t h i s i n d i c a t e s the actual strength of her resolve. She has had to form i t i n t e r n a l l y and i n complete i s o l a t i o n ; she has had no external pressure to cause her to b u i l d i t up as a defense. Since no one e l s e knows of her resolve, she could e a s i l y back down without a l o s s of pride. Deianeira i s faced with a form of attack on her resolve. I t i s what Knox r e f e r s to as the emotional appeal of those having claims on her a f f e c t i o n s and as the hardest attack to r e s i s t . H y l l u s 1 words to her (734ff.), which wish for her death and harshly c r i t i c i z e her, are t r a g i c a l l y i r o n i c because he does not r e a l l y mean them (cf. 935ff. , e s p e c i a l l y 941-942) and because he, i n a sense, i s ordering her to do what she has already resolved to do. Deianeira stands nobly and s i l e n t l y i n the face of H y l l u s 1 accusations. How strong her resolve must be that she does not allow h e r s e l f even the comfort of excusing h e r s e l f i n the eyes of her son! Deianeira d i f f e r s from Knox 1 heroic model i n that she i s not an angry hero. Her r e s o l u t i o n s are not attacked; she does not receive advice and o b j e c t i o n s . Therefore, she lacks the necessity of r e a c t i n g s w i f l y and 24 v i o l e n t l y , and t r e a t i n g advice and objections i n a f i e r c e way. ^ j o r ^ s 55 Deianeira described within the play as utopos- We may well c r i t i c i z e her for being f o o l i s h and not t e s t i n g the l o v e - p h i l t r e before using i t " and for l a c k i n g f o r e s i g h t as she does with respect to her g i f t from Nessus; but Deianeira i s not censured for these two f a u l t s , even by Hyllus and Heracles. The c r i t i c i s m she receives from them i s for -something she was not i n f a c t g u i l t y o f , namely, i n t e n t i o n a l l y causing Heracles' death, and i t ceases when they, i n turn, discover her innocence of t h i s crime. While t h e i r c r i t i c i s m l a s t s , however, i t f u l f i l l s the requirement of Knox' model that the condemnation of the heroic temper be moral as w e l l as i n t e l l e c t u a l . u> uniep, <^ S av EM TpL&v a' EV EuXdunv, n unxE-r' euvau £uaav, n aecrupEvriv aXXou MEMArjadai un-rep', n Xijjous q>p£vas TUV vuv itapooauv T£V6' aueC'<i>ao'$aC* itodev (73M--737). Mother! I wish for one o f three things for you e i t h e r that you were no longer l i v i n g , or safe but someone else's mother, or somehow changed and with a better heart than now. oyxov yap aXXug ovduatos TL 6et TpE(petv 26 yriTpJpov, f)TLs pnoEV us TEMoDaa 6pa; (817-818) For why should she wrongly maintain the l o f t y name of mother, she who acts i n no way l i k e a mother? Response to Deianeira's suicide f i t s Knox' scheme more c l o s e l y . While questioning the Nurse about Deianeira's death, the Chorus ask EKEL6ES, w pctTaua, TCXV6' UBPLV; ("And, f o o l i s h woman, did you see her v i o l e n t deed?" 888) and xou, TCXUT' ETXTI TLS X e % LP YUvatMELOt Mxuaat; ("How could any woman's hand a c t u a l l y bring t h i s to pass?" 898). Knox says that Sophoclean heroes are 6ELVOU because they lack a sense of 56 proportion and a capacity for moderation. The Nurse says of Deianeira's s u i c i d e 6ELVO3S ye- neuag 6', W T E papTUpeuv epou ("Yes, i t was t e r r i b l e . You w i l l learn everything, so that you can bear me witness," 8 9 9 ) . According to Knox, the action of the heroes i s itepLoads. The r e s u l t of Deianeira's actions (and thus the actions themselves) i s nepLoaoi, but i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that she advises Lichas to guard against t h i s very danger. otXX' eprce, Mal cpuXacae Ttpuxa pev vdpov, TO pri 'utSupeLV nopiios cov nepuaaa 6pav (616-617). Go now, and as a messenger be sure to keep the ru l e not to desire to exceed your orders, Knox' Sophoclean hero refuses to be taught by time what i s "good" for himself; he defies time and i t s imperative of change. Deianeira w i l l not change h e r love and need f o r Heracles. oux't x " T d p a s / nXetOTas dvrip e t s 'HpaMXps eynpe 6n; ("One man and many woman--Heracles has had very many others before," 459-460). B u t , throughout a l l t h i s before-time Deianeira has n o t learned (has n o t wished to learn) to temper h e r love of Heracles, as h e r "constant r e l a y of tr o u b l e s " t e s t i f i e s . Xe*xos yap 'HpaxXeu xptTOv CuaTaa' deu T U V ' ev. tpogou cpdgov Tpecpa), xeuvou icpoKnpaLVouaa (27-29). Chosen as the bride for Heracles, and being joined with him, I c o n t i n u a l l y nurse fear a f t e r f e a r , being anxious f o r him. TtAnv epot ituxpas d)6uvas auTou npoaBaXuv dnodxET011^ (41-42). The only sure thing i s that he's gone and assigned to me a sharp pain for him. With respect to I o l e , Deianeira i s able i n a l l honesty to say, MOUUDJ rug auxuv ex y' euou \6yov xaxov / fiveyxax' ou6* oveLSoc ("Never yet has any one of them earned i n s u l t s from me, or reproach," 4 6 1 - 4 6 2 ) , but she w i l l not endure even a t r i a l - p e r i o d of sharing Heracles with I o l e . She unknowingly welcomes I o l e , a Knpovriv AadpaCov ("secret s u f f e r i n g " 3 7 6 - 3 7 7 ) , under her roof, I o l e , whose youth i s coming to f u l l bloom while hers i s fading ( 5 4 7 - 5 4 8 ) . Deianeira has not been taught by the time that has aged her to be less pained by the love of Heracles. According to Knox, the hero, i n the opinion of others, i s unreasonable 27 and s u i c i d a l l y bold ; however, the opinion of others i s i r r e l e v a n t to the hero, who i s l o y a l only to h i s conception of himself. Only Heracles and Hyllus have (and only temporarily) an opinion of Deianeira as overbold. Deianeira does seem to view t h e i r opinion as i r r e l e v a n t , since she makes no attempt to explain h e r s e l f and her actions to e i t h e r of them. Perhaps her reason i s that she knows the damage i s done and cannot be undone, perhaps because she r e a l i z e s the magnitude of t h e i r , e s p e c i a l l y Heracles', 28 f e e l i n g s . In a c e r t a i n basic way, however, the opinion of others i s important to Deianeira i n conjunction with her conception of h e r s e l f . £,r\v yap xaxwg xAuouaav oux otvaaxexdv, fixts npoxty§ yf) fcmfi uetpuxtvau (721-722) I could not bear to l i v e and hear myself c a l l e d e v i l I, who wish above a l l else to be t r u l y good. ouaua and 6d£a, "true nature" and "reputation," are i n e x t r i c a b l y mixed up for Deianeira. Knox believes that the hero's sense of worth and consideration of what i s due to him from others i s outraged and that, forming an extreme impression of t h i s lack of respect, he f e e l s that the world i s mocking him as w e l l . Deianeira's sense of what i s due to her from Heracles i s 58 outraged. Tocd6' ' HpaxAfis, 6 TIUOTOS fiytv xayadbs xotAouyevos, oCxoupi,' dvTETtEVi^e TOU yaxpou xpovou (540-542) This i s the housekeeping wage my f a i t h f u l and noble Heracles sends home to me to compensate for h i s long absence! In the fol l o w i n g two l i n e s (543-544), Deianeira c l e a r l y states the sing u l a r character of Heracles' f a i t h l e s s n e s s . Heracles' many passions i n themselves are, apparently, no cause of anger for Deianeira. However, to receive l o l e i n t o her own home, to share her marriage (546), to share her marriage-bed (540) i s an unbelievable and i n t o l e r a b l e outrage. She has received from Heracles AwftnTOV eyTtdAnya ins syns^pevds ("goods that outrage my heart" 538), and these goods that outrage her heart turn 29 her more fi r m l y i n t o h e r s e l f and also force her to take a c t i o n . This action i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to the next aspect of Knox 1 heroic model, which i s that the hero, resenting those he considers responsible for h i s s u f f e r i n g s , appeals for vengeance and curses h i s enemies, wishing nothing worse on them than that they experience what he himself i s s u f f e r i n g . Whom does Deianeira consider responsible for her sufferi n g s ? She mentions Love, but does not address Cypris or Eros d i r e c t l y and 30 confront them with her blame. One cannot take vengeance on the gods, at most one may perhaps defy them, e s p e c i a l l y i n t h i s case where Cypris and Eros seem to represent a force, a l b e i t d i v i n e , rather than actual d i v i n i t x e s . OSTOS [Erosj yap1 & p x £ L HOU. §£wv onus deAsu, xayoD ye TCOJS 6* ou x°tTe"pas otas y' eyoO; (443-444). 59 For he rules even the gods as he pleases, and me--why not another woman l i k e me? The s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s passage i s not only the i m p l i c a t i o n that Deianeira' act w i l l be performed i n r e v o l t against and i n submission to Eros, but also Deianeira's i m p l i c a t i o n that she believes I o l e to be enamored of 32 Heracles. Even the denia l of Io l e ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for her s u f f e r i n g s requires Deianeira to admit a c e r t a i n r e s p o n s i b i l i t y on the part of I o l e . xouito) TLS otUToiv EX y' EUOU Xoyov xaxov f l V E y x a T ' ou6' 5VEL6OS nos x * ou6' av EL xdpT* evTaxELTi T({j CPLXELV (461-463). Never yet has any one of them earned i n s u l t s from me, or reproach, not w i l l she, even i f she i s wholly absorbed by her love. What Deianeira seems to be saying i s not that she t o t a l l y denies the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of other women ( e s p e c i a l l y Iole) whom Heracles has loved, but that she i s not going to appeal for vengeance against them and curse them as enemies. Deianeira i s not a vengeful person, and, besides, she knows that the workings of Eros w i l l e ventually, i f not immediatedly, cause Heracles' other loves to experience s u f f e r i n g s very s i m i l a r to those sheherself endures. Deianeira i s able to p i t y ( ETCEL o<p' eyw I ( J x T L p a 6n VidXLOTa upoogXecJiaa' > "for I p i t i e d her deeply when I looked upon her" 33 463-464 ) even the one she sees as her secret enemy, TLV* ea6E*6£Yua.L Tiripovnv undoTeyov / A a S p a L O V , ("What secret s u f f e r i n g have I welcomed under my r o o f ? " 376-377). I o l e , p i t i a b l e as she i s , represents an immediate 34 and p o t e n t i a l threat to Deianeira. Deianeira loses her usual t r u s t i n the normal workings of Eros that have always before returned Heracles and his love to her and have kept her the wife of Heracles. She f e e l s she must turn to the charm ( xnAnTripLov, 575) given to her by Nessus i n order ' 60 to strengthen wanted love (Heracles' love of her ) and destroy unwanted 35 love (Heracles' love of l o l e ) . Heracles i s a l s o , and perhaps most of a l l , responsible for Deianeira s u f f e r i n g . However, Deianeira i n her b l i n d , or maybe not so b l i n d , Jove for him excuses h i s h u r t f u l actions as being caused by Eros. After, a l l , Eros "rules even the gods" (ctpxeu xat deuv 443). Deianeira c a l l s no curse down upon Heracles; she only wishes that he may s u f f e r to love her as she loves him. According to Knox' conception of the Sophoclean hero, a f t e r forming an extreme impression of the lack of respect shown toward himself and a resentment against those he considers responsible for h i s s u f f e r i n g s , the hero enters i n t o h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i s o l a t i o n . He becomes alone and deserted, i s o l a t e d from men and abandoned by the gods. Deianeira's temporal and s p a t i a l i s o l a t i o n i n some of i t s aspects has previously been discussed. Her i s o l a t i o n i s t o t a l and t r a g i c . Her one key to the world outside h e r s e l f , and even to the world inside h e r s e l f , she destroys. By her love she i s made to destroy what she most loves ; i n t r y i n g to recover love, she a n n i h i l a t e s i t . When Deianeira's suspicions of the probable outcome of the g i f t of the anointed robe for Heracles have been aroused, she begins to cut h e r s e l f o f f from her Chorus (663ff. and 723ff.). When her suspicions have been confirmed by H y l l u s ' r e p o r t , she completely withdraws into h e r s e l f and does not speak to H y l l u s , the Chorus 37 or anyone e l s e . She i s i s o l a t e d from men and abandoned by the gods. act pdrnp a§eos- ("your godless mother" 1039) Heracles l a t e r c a l l s Deianeir when addressing H y l l u s . She h e r s e l f must know how d'deos she i s and that by her action she has caused h e r s e l f to be abandoned by Heracles, the son 38 of Zeus. 61 Deianeira also f u l f i l l s the two most extreme requirements that Knox applies to the hero i n terms of i s o l a t i o n . So t o t a l i s the hero's i s o l a t i o n that at c e r t a i n moments he addresses himself to the landscape. The f i n a l r e s u l t of the hero's i s o l a t i o n from the world of men i s h i s wish 39 for death. Deianeira f u l f i l l s her wish for death with her s u i c i d e . Between the time of her r e a l i z a t i o n of what she has done to Heracles and the time of her death, she addresses no person, but only her landscape, her house and b r i d a l chamber. As the Nurse reports Deianeira's f i n a l scene, auxri TOV auTTis 6aLuov* aynaXovuivr] nai Tots anau6as es TO AOLTIOV OLHUXS (910-911) and she would c a l l aloud to her destiny and to her house that would have no c h i l d r e n anymore. eAe^ev, 5 Aexn TE V.CLL vuucpeu' eud, 'TO AOUTIOV fion xa^PE®'> ws ep' ouitOTe 40 6e£;eoV '£%' ev XOL'T^OL xaCa6* euvciTRLav (920-922). She s a i d , "0 my bed, 0 my b r i d a l chamber, farewell now forever, for never again w i l l you receive me as a wife on your couch." Knox' hero finds i n moments of c r i s i s and abandonment that h i s sense of and b e l i e f i n himself become h i s only support. The severe upset of the a r r i v a l of Iole drives Deianeira to take measures to r e - e s t a b l i s h h e r s e l f as the wife of Heracles. In his resistance to the imperatives of time and circumstance ( a l l things change, but he w i l l n o t ) , the hero makes an assumption of d i v i n i t y , although he never consciously claims to be a god. By her use of the l o v e - p h i l t r e , Deianeira displays her r e f u s a l to accept the change heralded by the a r r i v a l of I o l e and unconsciously t r i e s to take on the r o l e of Eros. Deianeira's attempt to maintain the love of 62 Heracles, the son of Zeus, i n d i c a t e s another unconscious assumption of d i v i n i t y on her part. I I I . Whitman Whitman's conception of the Sophoclean hero requir e s that the behavior and w i l l of the t r a g i c hero represent the true a c t i o n of each play, that each t r a g i c hero be an example of arete, and that the hero's encounters with d i s a s t e r s and t r i a l s r e s u l t from the c l a s h between his arete and the imperfections of other human beings, the t r a d i t i o n a l gods, and l i f e i t s e l f . Although the forces opposing the hero are u s u a l l y d i v i n e , they are not of n e c e s s i t y morally r i g h t . Deianeira's behavior and w i l l not only represent the true a c t i o n of the f i r s t 946 l i n e s of the Trachiniae, but also cause the a c t i o n of the l a s t 332 l i n e s . Deianeira's s u f f e r i n g s r e s u l t from the clash between her arete (her supreme love) and the imperfections of Heracles, Eros, and the l i f e that embodies them. Heracles i s semi-divine, Eros i s d i v i n e , but neither of these forces that oppose Deianeira i s morally r i g h t . Whitman considers Deianeira to be the hero of the Trachiniae, and the play i t s e l f to be one of " l a t e l e a r n i n g , " or t r a g i c knowledge. The knowledge i s t r a g i c because, i n spite of the e f f o r t to discover i t i n time, i t comes too l a t e . Sophocles turned to the theme of l a t e l e a r n i n g to i l l u s t r a t e the i r r a t i o n a l i t y of the world, and two of h i s heroes s u f f e r the r e s u l t s of t h e i r late learning. Deianeira and Oedipus are not too proud to learn; but, having learned too l a t e , they pass away uncomforted and despised. "None of Sophocles' characters e x h i b i t such sheer i n t e l l i g e n c e as these two, and none t r y harder to achieve good ends." 63 "...Sophocles intended them as examples of high-minded humanity which w i l l s the best and achieves the worst." "In Deianeira and Oedipus, we are faced with the f u l l e s t b i t t e r n e s s of tragedy--evil unmitigated by any sort of v i c t o r y and r e s u l t i n g d i r e c t l y from the most moral a c t i o n possible by the p r o t a t o n i s t . " ^ According to Whitman, the Trachiniae and the Oedipus Tyrannus depict the f a l l of g u i l t l e s s people, which A r i s t o t l e s a i d would be r e v o l t i n g (Poetics 13); yet, the plays s a t i s f y , perhaps because of t h e i r unmitigated honesty and because we meet the problem of e v i l pure. Only Whitman's i d e a l i z e d view of the Sophoclean hero allows him to view Deianeira and Oedipus as g u i l t l e s s . However, he does express a rather less i d e a l i z e d view as w e l l . The heroes of the Trachiniae and the Oedipus  Tyrannus, he claims, lose themselves and f i n d no greater selves, although t h e i r motivating arete i s true. Their heroic w i l l i n g n e s s to accept destruction i s no longer of such u n i v e r s a l moral impressiveness; no one hints that Deianeira's death makes her resemble the gods, nor does she think so. "She i s at best a very exquisite woman; at worst, a t o o l of meaningless forces. Although Whitman i s surely r i g h t i n claiming that Deianeira i s the hero of the Trachiniae, h i s claim that Deianeira i s g u i l t l e s s and that she loses h e r s e l f and finds no greater s e l f i s unconvincing. She i s g u i l t l e s s i n that she i s unconscious of the e v i l e f f e c t s of the love^ p h i l t r e , but she i s g u i l t y because she acts rashly and thoughtlessly. Driven by and attempting to gain c o n t r o l of Love, she i s perhaps not so passive as she appears to h e r s e l f and others. She does not lose h e r s e l f . I f she were to go on l i v i n g a f t e r Heracles' death, she would be l o s t ; but, by s a c r i f i c i n g h e r s e l f to the same love that made her unwittingly 64 s a c r i f i c e Heracles, she e x h i b i t s a previously undisplayed nobleness and strength. Whitman's development of the theme of l a t e l e a r n i n g i n the Trachinae i l l u s t r a t e s why he presents Deianeira as f u l f i l l i n g h i s requirements of 43 the Sophoclean hero. His argument follows. A l l that we see of Deianeira ( l i n e s 1-946) i s framed by darkness, the dangers of future events, and the f r i g h t e n i n g i m p o s s i b i l i t y of judging or foreseeing. Beginning with the prologue, the play bends i t s e l f to the lonely hopelessness of Deianeira and the l y r i c emotions of her nature. A complex antecedent h i s t o r y i n the form of three oracles e x i s t s for t h i s rather simple play. Heracles w i l l e i t h e r die on an expedition or be v i c t o r and l i v e forever free from t o i l s (155-168). Heracles w i l l e i t h e r die during an attack on Oechalia or thereafter l i v e a blessed l i f e 44 (74-81). Heracles w i l l never be s l a i n by a l i v i n g hand, but by someone already dead. This oracular material again emphasizes the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of knowing the future. The supposed c l a r i t y and helpfulness of the oracles are d e l i b e r a t e l y confusing. They represent what hindsight or knowledge free from time might know, but what no one i n the moment of action could p o s s i b l y know. Man must act, i f he acts at a l l , from l i k e l i h o o d . Sophocles "makes h i s characters act on the b a s i s of l i k e l i h o o d , while the f a t a l dice are loaded hopelessly and i r r a t i o n a l l y i n favor of the most 45 u n l i k e l y event." The plot of the Trachiniae, centered i n the s p l i t between hoped-for l i k e l i h o o d and unknown and unlooked for f a c t s , becomes a long, p a i n f u l search for t r u t h , with the f i n a l discovery b r i n g i n g overwhelming despair. The whole structure of the play i s a quest to uncover c e r t a i n t r u t h s , a quest that unravels against the "constantly sounded contradictory motif of the uncertainty of knowledge and the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of knowing 65 anything but what i s p a s t . " ^ Therefore, Deianeira's great scene i s not when she sends the robe, or k i l l s h e r s e l f , but when she f i n d s out from Lichas who the captive princess i s and why Heracles has brought her home with him. This unmasking scene i s Deianeira's f i r s t r e a l a c t i o n , the f i r s t f u n c tion of her are te. At t h i s point an active and a s s e r t i v e Deianeira begins to weave her own f a t e . The characters constantly struggle to do what they say cannot be done. In her opening monologue, Deianeira says l i f e cannot be judged u n t i l i t i s over and then c o n t r a d i c t s h e r s e l f by saying she knows hers i s miserable. Her uncertainty r i s e s and f a l l s throughout the play, disappearing with the approach of Heracles and r e t u r n i n g with the entrance of the captives. Her uncertainty about Iole leads to her f a t a l i n s i s t e n c e 47 to know "as i f knowledge were a l l - s u f f i c i e n t and had no dangers." Since the desire to know i s l i k e the desire to do, i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g that the next occurrence of the theme of knowing i s accompanied by an idea 48 of a c t i o n , Deianeira s plan of the robe. Then follow the r e v e l a t i o n s ; Deianeira, H y l l u s , and Heracles a l l f i n d out too l a t e . Deianeira might have known the robe was poisoned; Hyllus might have guessed Deianeira acted unwittingly; Heracles might have guessed the meaning of the o r a c l e . However, "of a l l the broken figures at the end, Deianeira alone i s 4 9 t r a g i c , for her w i l l i s the only one involved." She w i l l s good but works e v i l , thus g i v i n g the play a meaning broader than the i r r a t i o n a l i t y of the world. Whitman draws up a l i s t of Deianeira's admirable and model c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , " ^ which are i n accordance with h i s opinions of c e r t a i n of her actions. Deianeira has no hamartia unless i t i s a f a u l t for a 51 woman to contest the case for her husband's love with another woman. Deianeira holds h e r s e l f free from r e c r i m i n a t i o n , anger, jealousy and Medean violence and acts only on her unquestionable r i g h t to r e t a i n what 6 6 i s hers. I t i s heroic to maintain innocence i n a case such as Deianeira's. A c l e a r contrast e x i s t s between the diseased Eros of Heracles and the compassionate u n i v e r s a l love that i s Deianeira's arete. I t i s part of her i s o l a t i o n and self-abnegation that no one sets a p o s i t i v e value on her existence. Her excellence i s an excellence of love, which throughout she i s u n w i l l i n g to betray. Therefore, i n Whitman's eyes, i t i s , i n a way, sophrosyne that urges Deianeira to act and not any form of hamartia, since there could be no worse f o l l y than to y i e l d to a s i t u a t i o n that 52 would cause her to betray her love. Deianeira acts where no action i s safe; she knows Heracles too w e l l , yet f i g h t s for the i n t e g r i t y of her love. She r i s e s to meet the necessity of the t r a g i c tension created between her d e s i r e for safety and the necessity for a c t i o n . Her tragedy i s not i n her f a i l u r e , but i n the nature of the t r u t h she uncovers. In the end, Whitman claims, Deianeira i s e n t i r e l y destroyed. J u s t i c e i s not done for her, and i t i s impossible to f e e l that the r e v e l a t i o n o f what she has done brings her to a true estimate of h e r s e l f , or that the " s e l f - l o a t h i n g " that drove her to suicide i s a deserved judgment. Whereas Ajax and Antigone s a c r i f i c e themselves, Deianeira punishes h e r s e l f . Nevertheless, her death remains a defense of her arete, because i t Was love that drove her to self-punishment. Whitman's picture of Deianeira's end and i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e i s not e n t i r e l y j u s t i f i e d . J u s t i c e i s not done for Deianeira. But does she 53 ever ask for j u s t i c e ? Heracles was unjust to her when he sent I o l e home, but, when Deianeira undertakes the use of the charm of the l o v e - p h i l t r e , she consciously removes h e r s e l f from the realm of j u s t i c e and i n j u s t i c e . A f t e r discovering the e f f e c t s of the p h i l t r e , she decides that she w i l l die along with Heracles (720). For her that i s the j u s t i c e her actions have required. She does have a true estimate of h e r s e l f . The r e v e l a t i o n 67 of what she has done makes her understand not only the f u l l magnitude of her love of Heracles, but also the f u l l magnitude of that love's power; what i t cannot have i t destroys. Her death does not seem to be s e l f -punishment, but a conscious s a c r i f i c e to match her unconscious s a c r i f i c e 54 of Heracles. The s i l e n c e of her end marks the strength she has found i n her i s o l a t i o n . She does not negate h e r s e l f and vanish any more than Oedipus negates himself by discovering who he i s . In agreement with Whitman, i t can be s a i d that Deianeira's own goodness works her destruction. H. F. Johansen claims that Deianeira v i s i b l y w i l t s under the burden of s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e heroism that Whitman puts on her."'"' Deianeira does not have to be i d e a l i z e d i n order to be seen as the hero; the problem i s that Whitman seems to neglect and i n v e r t some of Deianeira's stronger points i n order to draw his i d e a l i z e d p o r t r a i t of her and to make her comply with his i d e a l i z e d p o r t r a i t of the Sophoclean hero i n general. IV. Bowra and Schadewaldt Bowra and Schadewaldt believe that the Sophoclean hero through s u f f e r i n g learns to be modest before the gods and that the c r i s i s of the play, by changing the hero's hybris into sophrosyne, restores harmony 56 between him and the gods. This view i s c r i t i c i z e d i n chapter one. Deianeira's p o s i t i o n i n the play remains true to that c r i t i c i s m , unless one a l t e r s the meaning of sophrosyne, as Whitman does. As demonstrated in the d i s c u s s i o n of Knox' model of the hero, Deianeira makes her d e c i s i o n without the support of the gods and c a r r i e s i t through to the point of s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n . Althouth she i s driven by Eros, she also d e f i e s Eros, and a c t u a l l y t r i e s to usurp him by attempting through magical means to quench Heracles' love for l o l e and rekindle h i s love for her. She does not 68 57 receive h i s support. That harmony i s never restored between Deianeira and the gods i s perhaps best i l l u s t r a t e d by the f a c t that Deianeira i s never reunited with Heracles, son of Zeus. V. Webster Webster's s i x basic aspects of the Sophoclean hero, i n s o f a r as they have been accepted i n the model of the hero presented i n chapter one, are f u l f i l l e d to va r y i n g extents by Deianeira. According to Webster, the hero i s conscious of h i s b i r t h and, being nobly born, conforms to c e r t a i n standards of l i f e and ac t i o n . Deianeira i s conscious not so much of her actual b i r t h as she i s of her marriage, which was the beginning of her current l i f e and i d e n t i t y . Except for a general memory 58 of the care-l e s s time of her maidenhood, Deianeira has no r e a l remembrance of her i d e n t i t y before the batt l e between Achelous and Heracles, a f t e r which Jtdub paxpos acpap gcgax', / ware icopxts epripa ("and then she was gone from her mother, l i k e an abandoned c a l f , " 529-530). Deianeira -i s conscious of being nobly married, to "the best of men," and i t i s as a r e s u l t of t h i s marriage that she conforms to c e r t a i n standards of l i f e and a c t i o n . Webster holds that the hero, as a member of a family, has a duty to be l o y a l to h i s parents and a r i g h t to expect l o y a l t y from h i s c h i l d r e n . Again, t h i s point i s best i l l u s t r a t e d for Deianeira i n terms of her marriage. Her parents and her c h i l d r e n , except for H y l l u s , are 59 v i r t u a l l y non-existent i n the play. However, she has a strong l o y a l t y to both Heracles and her marriage and wishes that l o y a l t y to be returned; she loves Heracles so much that she i s u n w i l l i n g to accept the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of that l o y a l t y not being returned. 69 Deianeira i s an e x c e l l e n t example of Webster's second heroic aspect, which a t t r i b u t e s to the hero frankness, f o r t i t u d e , and sensitiveness to shame. Deianeira openly confesses her various worries and p r i v a t e troubles to the Chorus, but her frankness i s most obvious during her persuasion-speech to Lichas ( 4 3 6 f f . ) . ouxl x a T £ P a S / uXEuaxas avfip eus ' HpaxAris eynpe 6r*;('"one man, and many women—has Heracles not had very many others before?" 459-460). She i s frank to the Chorus with her f e e l i n g s about Io l e and her i n a b i l i t y to cope with the s i t u a t i o n ( 5 3 1 f f . ) ^ ; she i s frank about her fears before and a f t e r sending the anointed robe to Heracles (555ff. and 663ff.); and she i s frank i n r e v e a l i n g her i n t e n t i o n of s u i c i d e (720). Two of these c i t e d passages also contain notable examples of Deianeira's sensitiveness to shame. Before sending the robe, she says, cos cxdxip / xav au-axpa Ttpdaang,, ouitox' ataxuvn Tteafj ("in darkness even i f you do shameful things, you w i l l bever f a l l i n t o shame," 596-597). Deianeira w i l l be ashamed i f her attempt f a i l s and does not regain Heracles' love for her; but, i f nobody di s c l o s e s the means by which she t r i e d to win back his love, the shame w i l l be for h e r s e l f alone and she w i l l not f a l l d i s g r a c e f u l l y . The second example of Deianeira's sensitiveness to shame also i l l u s t r a t e s Webster's view that some e v i l s the hero s u f f e r s are too great to bear and lead the hero to prefer to die rather than l i v e . A f t e r d i s c o v e r i n g the e f f e c t s of the l o v e - p h i l t r e , Deianeira announces her d e c i s i o n to the Chorus. xauxou 6e6oxxaL, xeuvos acpaAnaexotL, xauxrj auv opp'p XCIUE a u v d a v e t v aua Cnv Y aP xaxuis xXuouaav oux dvaaxexdv, nxLS Ttpoxupq. un xaxn T iecpuxEvac (719-722) And yet I have made a d e c i s i o n : i f he f a l l s I s h a l l die under the same blow with him. 70 I could not bear to l i v e and hear myself c a l l e d e v i l I , who wish above a l l else to be t r u l y good. In l i n e 721, Deianeira expresses a point of view that i s i d e n t i c a l to Ajax 1 and i s the essence of heroic e t h i c s . ^ * Deianeira does not consider the p o s s i b i l i t y that vengeance may be taken on her. Webster's t h i r d aspect of the hero, that he offends i n some way against Sophocles' p o l i t i c a l i d e a l , does not apply to Deianeira, unless she "offends" against an i d e a l by being ignorant of i t . She i s an a p o l i t i c a l creature; i n f a c t , no state a c t u a l l y e x i s t s for her. fipetg pev ev Tpaxtvt avctaTotTOL / £ev^ nap' dv6pt vaLopev ("we> driven from our home, l i v e here i n T r a c h i s , a stranger's guests" 39-40). The l a s t of Webster's heroic aspects to be considered i s the hero's lack of sophrosyne and consequent e x h i b i t i o n of arrogance, v i o l e n c e , haste, i n f l e x i b i l i t y , or f o l l y . Webster further delineates various forms of haste, such as impatience, s u s p i c i o n , anger, promptness, and e f f i c i e n c y . Deianeira e x h i b i t s a l l these forms of haste i n her sending of the love-p h i l t r e to Heracles, i n c l u d i n g a suggestion of anger. Deianeira i s not an angry hero, but there i s a touch of reproval evident i n her speech announcing her dec i s i o n to use the l o v e - p h i l t r e . In reference to l o l e she says, Totti*6' 'HpaxAps, 6 TtLOtbs fiptv x&yadbs xaAoupevog, ouxoupL* dvreneiJ^e TOO paxpou X P ° ^ 0 U (540-542) This i s the housekeeping wage my f a i t h f u l and noble Heracles sends home to me to compensate for his long absence! Webster's comment on t h i s passage i s that Deianeira speaks with b i t t e r 62 scorn of Heracles. However, he l a t e r states that Deianeira i s not 63 angry with Heracles, but loves him and cannot endure her own p o s i t i o n . 71 l o l e , more than Deianeira knows,'is "destructive of her w i t s " (538). According to Webster, Deianeira's one rash act i s done i n despair. Although her motive i s pure, she does not stop to think any more than 64 Oedipus did when he k i l l e d h i s father. VI. G e l l i e According to G e l l i e , the protagonist i s c a l l e d upon to deal with a ready-made state of e v i l . Whatever action he takes w i l l be wrong, but he acts and i s destroyed by h i s a c t i o n . Deianeira must deal with a ready-made state of e v i l created by Heracles. In contrast to Heracles' unalloyed m a s c u l i n i t y , Deianeira, the paragon of f e m i n i n i t y , has to make the important d e c i s i o n of the p l a y . ^ I f she decides to accept l o l e and Heracles' love of l o l e p assively, she w i l l f o r f e i t her place i n Heracles' love (550-551). By taking action and sending the anointed robe to Heracles, however, she destroys Heracles and, thus, i s destroyed h e r s e l f . G e l l i e himself points out that, u n t i l the time of Deianeira's a c t i o n , the only f i r s t - h a n d f a c t s i n the play are descriptions of her f e e l i n g s . Although he considers Deianeira and Heracles to hold p o s i t i o n s of equal prominence i n the play, he s t i l l makes the statement that, at the l e v e l of f e e l i n g 66 • Deianeira alone dominates the play. VII. Kirkwood Deianeira also f u l f i l l s Kirkwood's s p e c i f i c a t i o n s of the Sophoclean hero. She has a strong and noble character and i s confronted with a c r u c i a l s i t u a t i o n , which she responds to i n a s p e c i a l way. The r e l a t i o n s h i p between l o l e and Heracles involves r e l i g i o u s and moral issues and e n t a i l s s u f f e r i n g for Deianeira. Her s u f f e r i n g i s t o t a l l y unrelieved and ends i n 72 her death. I t i s impossible to say whether Deianeira i s a v i c t i m of circumstances, gods, or men, or i s responsible, for her own f a t e . She i s not p e r f e c t , yet her s u f f e r i n g i s not e n t i r e l y a punishment for her g u i l t . Deianeira's character, l i k e Oedipus', causes the p r e c i p i t a t i o n of the chain of events leading to the deaths of Heracles and Deianeira and, t h e r e f o r e , must bear p a r t i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for Deianeira's f a t e . In f a c t , i t i s Deianeira's unwise t r u s t i n a desperate remedy that p r e c i p i t a t e s the catastrophe of the play, and i t i s t h i s imperfection i n Deianeira's f a i t h i n the continued love of Heracles that brings her to l i f e as a human being. Deianeira's love i t s e l f i s both her f a u l t and her strength and n o b i l i t y . However, the misfortunes that overwhelm Deianeira are i n no way morally deserved i n terms of her character. Deianeira i s l o y a l to her i d e a l of her "noble b i r t h " and "noble character" ( i t p O T t u c j i un Hctxri T t e c p u x e v a L , 722; " n o b i l i t y of character i s implied i n n o b i l i t y of b i r t h , 67 but doubtless the former i s meant" ). Sophocles' way of c o n t r a s t i n g the heroic with the unheroic (Oedipus with Creon, Antigone with Creon and Ismene, Ajax with Odysseus) makes clear the enduring value of the hero's n o b i l i t y . Deianeira has a d i s t i n c t and emphasized idea of n o b i l i t y , and, when faced by a c r i s i s , she i s guided by that idea. Her " n o b i l i t y " i s her devotion to Heracles, a more mundane and le s s heroic-seeming n o b i l i t y than that of Ajax or Antigone, but. one expressed and acted i n the same way. 68 Kirkwood himself considers the Trachiniae to be a diptych play with the drama being conveyed i n terms of a c e n t r a l contrast between 69 Deianeira and Heracles. A contrast e x i s t s between Deianeira and Heracles on human grounds and between Deianeira's human weakness and Heracles' 70 superhuman c e r t a i n t y ; i n both elements Deianeira i s the c e n t r a l f i g u r e . Deianeira occupies the dominant p o s i t i o n i n the a c t i o n for as great a 73 proportion of the play as that occupied by Ajax i n the Ajax. Nor does Deianeira vanish a f t e r her death; she i s constantly represented by Hyllus 71 i n the f i n a l scene (as Ajax i s represented by Teucer ). Deianeira has 72 a touch of the "sublime q u a l i t y of heroism" not u n l i k e Ajax'. The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Deianeira and her n o b i l i t y include u n s e l f i s h devotion, graciousness to a l l , i m p r a c t i c a l i t y , timorousness but single-mindedness, and strength i n her love for Heracles. However, Kirkwood states that Deianeira i s incomplete i n the dramatic sense u n t i l the p i c t u r e of 73 Heracles i s added. The i m p l i c a t i o n s of her fate are made c l e a r only i n Heracles' scene, which provides the answer to why Deianeira s u f f e r s so c r u e l l y . In t r y i n g to i n t e r f e r e with the actions of Heracles she grapples with forces too great for h e r s e l f . ^ 4 Only for Heracles, can the b a f f l i n g and misleading oracles and the t r u t h f u l l i e of Nessus give a meaning and pattern. Deianeira's involvement i n t h i s chain of events leads to destruction because she i s not a " c h i l d of Zeus." Heracles' status as the son of Zeus i s emphasized; and i n h i s superhuman, necessary aspect, Heracles i s a force rather than a character. As such a f o r c e , he xs part of Deianeira s f a t e . Deianexra represents human uncertaxnty; Heracles represents fated necessity. The l e v e l of the p a r t i c u l a r leads to the u n i v e r s a l , the p o r t r a y a l of mankind's struggle with the powers beyond i t s c o n t r o l , and again features Deianeira, t h i s time as the representative of humanity. "The f i n a l part of the play does more than present the second h a l f of a very penetrating contrast between Deianeira and Heracles; i t f u l f i l l s , through the contrast, the tragedy of Deianeira. 74 V I I I . Lesky Lesky does not define Heracles as a force, as does Kirkwood, but he does see the workings of a superhuman force. The catastrophe of the play, he claims, o r i g i n a t e s i n "the t y p i c a l l y Sophoclean c o n f l i c t between human d e s i r e s , " which i n Deianeira's case are understandable and pure, and "destiny i n general as an incomprehensible transcendent power." 7 7 According to Lesky, the subject of the Trachiniae i s the r e v e r s a l of human schemes by powers beyond man's comprehension. A sequence of scenes f u l l of tension makes us f u l l y r e a l i z e the shock Deianeira s u f f e r s . In Lesky's view, she hides her f e e l i n g s from Lichas, j u s t as she would have hidden them from Heracles, and speaks of the overwhelming power of love, which Heracles also must obey. She speaks to the Chorus of her deep sorrow, her only a v a i l a b l e remedy, and her conviction that she i s not 78 doing anything wrong. Lesky's i n t e r e s t i n the hero oi: the Trachiniae i s rather l i m i t e d ; however, c e r t a i n of the basic heroic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s he finds i n the other plays of Sophocles can be applied to Deianeira. In her hasty d e c i s i o n to use the l o v e - p h i l t r e , Deianeira does not show the calm wisdom of Odysseus. The excess of her energy that allows her to see only approval for her action i n the words of the Chorus (588ff.) makes her c o l l i d e with the unforeseeable. I t throws her l i f e i n t o a confusion (663ff.) 79 , from which only death can release her. Deianeira s concern i s for the human d i g n i t y that demands the t r u t h of her marriage to Heracles and not for mere existence, otherwise she could e a s i l y enough have accepted l o l e . Deianeira's existence, as mentioned e a r l i e r , i s e n t i r e l y dependent on Heracles'. But t h i s dependence, which causes her f e a r s , a n x i e t i e s , and sleepless n i g h t s , does not go to the point of slavishness. "Hers i s a noble 75 nature, conscious of i t s d i g n i t y as well as aware of the human co n d i t i o n . She i s e s s e n t i a l l y human. Her act of rashness proceeds from a jealousy she i s e n t i t l e d to f e e l by v i r t u e of her f a i t h f u l n e s s and from her i n s t i n c t s 8 0 of s e l f - r e s p e c t and s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n . " ' As i s the case for Lesley's Sophoclean hero, Deianeira i s subjected to t e r r i b l e tensions; she must r e l y on her own inner strength, and whatever she does i s prompted by her own w i l l , although she lacks c o n t r o l of i t s outcome. Deianeira's w i l l and her strength force her to obtain the t r u t h about Iole from Lichas and enable her to hear the news i n a 81 calm, c o n t r o l l e d manner. I t i s the w i l l of Deianeira to send the anointed robe to Heracles. I t i s the " w i l l of the beast" to k i l l Heracles; but i t i s Deianeira's w i l l that makes the dec i s i o n to use Nessus' l o v e - p h i l t r e . I t i s her w i l l . t o die without attempting to receive the blessings of forgiveness from Hyllus or Heracles. IX. The W i l l of Deianeira The question of Deianeira's w i l l i s c r u c i a l i n the context of determining her r o l e as the hero of the Trachiniae. To deny her w i l l f u l a c tion i s to deny that she i s capable of heroic a c t i o n , and not everyone believes that Deianeira's action i s purely the r e f l e c t i o n of her w i l l . A. J . Waldock claims that Deianeira does not produce the events, but that other and far more powerful agencies are at work. He holds the opinion that Deianeira did not do anything s i n g u l a r , her action could 8 2 almost be said to be t y p i c a l of women, and that Deianeira's act i s not sharply i n d i v i d u a l . The d i s a s t e r s of the play do not come from her character but from the malice of a centaur and from dooms that have been foreordained. The events are produced by magic unguents and come about 76 83 i n f u l f i l l m e n t of oracles, A c t u a l l y , Waldock's view advances no evidence against Deianeira's p o s i t i o n as hero. According to Lesky, i t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c for the hero to take action although he lacks c o n t r o l of i t s outcome. In the Trachiniae c e r t a i n dooms have been "foreordained," and the events "do come about i n . " f u l f i l l m e n t of o r a c l e s . " In what Sophoclean play i s there a sense that the hero's doom has not been foreordained? Whose actions more manifestly f u l f i l l o racles than Oedipus'? With the a r r i v a l of Iol e to usurp Deianeira's place i n her own home, 84 Deianeira i s no longer able to bend with the wind." Deianeira must say "no" or e l s e cease to e x i s t as a human being. At t h i s point, i n the view of K. F. S l a t e r , Deianeira h e s i s t a n t l y , f e a r f u l l y , and while seeking advice, t r i e s to c o n t r o l the course of her own l i f e . However, because she i s s t i l l under the influence of another, the Centaur, "the attempt i s a t o t a l f a i l u r e . " "In seeking to free her own w i l l , she does only the w i l l 85 of the beast." Although S l a t e r denies Deianeira free w i l l i n the action of the l o v e - p h i l t r e , she does allow Deianeira to recover her own w i l l a f t e r the action has been completed. In the si l e n c e with which she receives H y l l u s ' reproaches, Deianeira takes hold of h e r s e l f at l a s t . She refuses to blame Nessus and refuses a l l defense. Like Oedipus, she assumes r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for what happened through her agency and puts f o r t h no e x c u s e . ^ When Deianeira k i l l s h e r s e l f , she demonstrates that, i f she cannot d i r e c t the course of her l i f e to her own ends, she can at l e a s t prevent further d i s t o r t i o n by e x t e r i o r forces. "She r i s e s above contingency and the shackled p a s s i v i t y of her female r o l e only i n the moment of her death, but then with a l l the s e l f - a s s e r t i v e n e s s which her 87 l i f e lacked." However, to deny Deianeira free w i l l i n her d e c i s i o n to use the love-p h i l t r e seems to me to be t o t a l l y wrong. I t i s Deianeira's d e c i s i o n not Nessus 1. As I pointed out e a r l i e r , Deianeira's w i l l and Nessus' w i l l are not even the same. Deianeira desires the love of Heracles, Nessus wishes the death of Heracles. In the same way that Oedipus' w i l l i s at variance with the w i l l of the divine oracles and hence with his actions, Deianeira's w i l l i s at variance with the r e s u l t s of her actions. Free w i l l and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y are interdependent. The oracles d i d not remove r e s p o n s i b i l i t y from Oedipus, nor does the oracle (unknown to Deianeira) that Heracles i s to die at the hands of someone dead (1159-1161) remove r e s p o n s i b i l i t y from Deianeira. Her acts, l i k e Oedipus', were "not 88 predestined, merely predicted. An e s s e n t i a l d i s t i n c t i o n . " Not only i s i t Deianeira who decides to use the unguent, but i t i s also she who 89 decides to accept the unguent from the centaur i n the f i r s t place. When she s i l e n t l y draws the necessary connection between the wool's fate and what can be expected to b e f a l l Heracles, she recognizes that the misjudgment i s hers and that Heracles' fate seems to have been sealed 90 by her hand. H. A . Mason believes that Deianeira, having decided to use the love-p h i l t r e , "while apparently showing wisdom i n the face of what the Greeks took to be the primary f a c t s of l i f e , i s going to commit t r a g i c hamartia by opposing the white magic of Eros with the black magic of the 91 centaur." The "black magic" belongs to the Centaur; the action belongs to Deianeira. Her action i s an immediate one; she does not wait u n t i l Heracles' return and then choose a " r i g h t " course of a c t i o n . Hyllus reproaches Deianeira with her rashness; "her rash neglect of deyuc gives 92 him the r i g h t to curse her" (810). There i s no doubt that Deianeira's existence and destiny are bound up with Heracles'. However, i t i s Deianeira who binds h e r s e l f to Heracles Heracles makes no attempt to bind himself to Deianeira and, i n f a c t , attempts to loosen h i s connections with Deianeira. The f e e l i n g s and actions of Deianeira cause and s u f f e r the movement of the play. According to Kamerbeek, the meaning of the play as seen from the point of view of Deianeira could perhaps be summed up as f o l l o w s : i t demonstrates a noble and f a i t h f u l woman's fate; shows her s t r u g g l i n g against her husband's i n f i d e l i t y and destroyed by a c r a f t y stroke of fate which makes her i n v o l u n t a r i l y cause h i s death; so unaccountable i s human destiny and such 93 are the gods' in s c r u t a b l e ways. However, Kamerbeek f e e l s that t h i s i s not a complete picture because i t does not account for Heracles' presence. But does Heracles' appearance i n the l a s t quarter of the play lessen the r o l e played by Deianeira? I t i s Deianeira's w i l l and her fate that act upon Heracles. I t i s true that Deianeira finds her i d e n t i t y i n Heracles; t h i s i s made c l e a r by Deianeira h e r s e l f , not by Heracles. Heracles i s Deianeira's Heracles, but Deianeira i s not Heracles' Deianeira. Therefore, i n a sense, i t i s Deianeira who i s dramatically independent. She exercises her w i l l and meets her f a t e . The destruction of Heracles i s a s i g n i f i c a n t part of her f a t e . In f a c t , as seen i n the play, Heracles' d e s t r u c t i o n i s perhaps more a representation of Deianeira's fate than of Heracles'. I t i s a d i r e c t r e s u l t of an action of h e r ' w i l l (using the l o v e - p h i l t r e ) and only an i n d i r e c t r e s u l t of an action of his w i l l (sending l o l e home). During the course of the play, Heracles does not meet his f i n a l end, and release from h i s labors. Deianeira, whose acts of w i l l determine the course of 79 events i n the play, reaches her end and f u l f i l l s her heroic w i l l . She k i l l s h e r s e l f a f t e r having destroyed the love of Heracles and the source of her i d e n t i t y . Ajax loses h i s martial-heroic i d e n t i t y and therefore k i l l s himself rather than l i v e without i t s glory and with a d i f f e r e n t i d e n t i t y . Deianeira, r e a l i z i n g she has l o s t her i d e n t i t y , k i l l s h e r s e l f rather than l i v e without the glory of her love. That she i s unable to l i v e without her true i d e n t i t y i s c l e a r evidence of her heroic character. Deianeira f i t s w e ll many of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ascribed to other Sophoclean heroes, and she emerges within the play i t s e l f as a free i n d i v i d u a l whose acts of w i l l determine the course of the play's events. Deianeira i s the hero of the Trachiniae. 80 NOTES -- CHAPTER TWO .* Poetics 1453a; cf. chapter one, page 6. 2 These two sets of lines are illust r a t i o n s of what Kamerbeek (201) refers to as the "tragic day" concept, which often underlies the action of a tragedy (see also Aj_. 131 and 753). 3 i t i s significant that in this passage Deianeira rouses the Chorus; she becomes, in effect, the xopnyds. In lines 225-228 she rejoins the Chorus. See chapter four for a further development of this relationship between the Chorus and Deianeira. 4 Poetics 1453b; cf. page 7. ~* Knox, 3; cf. page 8. ^ Knox, 7; cf. page 8. 7 Cf. 147-152. g The small measure of joy Deianeira finds in her love of Heracles i s firmly joined to her suffering. That meagre amount of joy, in fact, increases the depth of her suffering. 9 Gellie (63) points out another indication of Deianeira's isolationj the unsureness of communication. Deianeira is robbed of Heracles' presence and cannot make reliable contact by report. The only thing Dei-aneira can be certain of is that she knows how she feels. ^ She does not accept the Chorus' suggestion that "the anger f e l t i s tempered" for one who e r r s u n w i l l i n g l y . She r e p l i e s : TOuauTa 6' av A E E ^ E U E V oux 6 T O U toxou MOUVCOVOS, dAA' $ pn6ev ear' ouxou Bapu (729-730). H Cypris i s presented almost as a force d i s t i n c t from the other gods. peya T U adevos d Kunpus EKtpepeTau vuxas dsu. MOU, xa P E V S E S V nap£$av, xau onws Kpovu6av ditaTa-OEV ou Aeyw (497-500). 12 Cf. Kamerbeek, 161. 13 "The exception i s of course the T r a c h i n i a e " (Knox, 8). 1 4 Cf. Kamerbeek, 137. One almost wonders i f the Chorus i n t h i s passage i s p l a y i n g the r o l e of Deianeira's conscience. This point w i l l be developed i n chapter four. 17 Knox, 10; c f . chapter one, page 10. 18 Cf. chapter one, page 10. 19 However, she does not announce to anyone e l s e the a c t u a l essence of her plan. 20 Lan. Cf Kamerbeek, 117. Deianeira has already conceived her f a t a l p l ; T i p o a a p p o ' C u makes us think of the peplos, or philtrum (cf. 687-dppo'oaupu) , or both. 82 (puAxpous 6' kdv utos T f * v 6 ' UTiEpgaAtoyeda xnv nau6a xau S E A V . T P O L O U T O U S ecp' 'HpaxAEU ( 5 8 4 - 5 8 5 ) . T h i s seems t o be a p a r t o f the c o n d i t i o n o f peynx^vnTat xoopyov as w e l l as t h e p h r a s e f o l l o w i n g i t , E U T U yn 6oxto / itpdooEuv yctxauov ( 5 8 6 - 5 8 7 ) . ^ There i s no q u e s t i o n t h a t 6e6oxTau i s n o t a t e r m s u i t a b l e f o r e x p r e s s i n g h e r o i c r e s o l u t i o n . Knox (11) u s e s i t as an example o f t h e tone t h a t a l l o w s no argument. E l e c t r a t e l l s C h r y s o t h e m i s t h a t h e r mind i s made up, 6£6oMxau ( 1 0 4 9 ) . When P h i l o c t e t e s i s a s k e d w h e t h e r h i s m ind i s made up (OUTCO, 6e6oxTctu 1 2 7 7 ) , he a n s w e r s , xau uepa y' uad' Y| \£yw. 23 f h e Chorus does n o t even s u s p e c t D e i a n e i r a ' s i n t e n d e d s u i c i d e . T h e i r l i n e s a t 813-814 v o i c e no s u s p i c i o n o f D e i a n e i r a ' s i n t e n t i o n s . Even H y l l u s ' l i n e s ( 8 1 5 - 8 2 0 ) , w h i c h w i s h d e a t h on h i s m other, do n o t c a l l t o mind f o r them a r e c o l l e c t i o n o f D e i a n e i r a ' s e a r l i e r words o f d e t e r m i n a t i o n . D u r i n g t h e i r l i n e s a t 8 6 2 f f . , t h e Chorus e x p r e s s no h i n t o f s u s p i c i o n o f the n a t u r e o f the m i s f o r t u n e w i t h i n the house. I t t a k e s them t h r e e l i n e s t o c o n f i r m t h a t D e i a n e i r a i s r e a l l y dead (ou 6f* icod' cos davouoa; 876. TeSvrixev fi TaAauva; 87.7. TotAauv*. oAedpua T U V U Tpditcp dotVEUV aep£ cprjs; 878) and s t i l l more l i n e s t o r e a l i z e t h a t D e i a n e i r a has k i l l e d h e r s e l f (EUTCE Tcp ydpcp, yuvotu, £uvTpexsu 8 8 0 ) . 2^ T h i s i s n o t t o s a y t h a t D e i a n e i r a w o u l d r e a c t i n a f i e r c e and a n g r y manner. 25 A c t u a l l y she does t e s t i t , b u t does n o t w a i t to see the r e s u l t s b e f o r e she s ends o f f t h e a n o i n t e d r o b e t o H e r a c l e s . ^ H y l l u s ' i m p r e c a t i o n s i n t h i s s p e e c h are t r a g i c b o t h i n l i g h t o f the f o l l o w i n g scene and a l s o because t h e y a r e b a s e d on an e r r o n e o u s i d e a . To H y l l u s and H e r a c l e s D e i a n e i r a ' s mood t e m p o r a r i l y seems t o have been one of excessive boldness and rashness, although Deianeira's i n t e n t i o n i s not to be bold, MaMots 6e xdApas ppx' eTCLaxauynv eyw yn'x' ExydSoLyu, xds xe xoAyaxras axvyui (582-583), although her mention of i t perhaps i n d i c a t e s that she fears she i s indeed being more bold than she cares to admit to h e r s e l f , 27 ' See chapter one, page 12 for a l i s t of a d d i t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . 28 Does Deianeira not seek to comfort and obtain the forgiveness of Heracles because she no longer needs him or because she knows he w i l l not be comforted or give forgiveness? Deianeira wants Heracles' love, not h i s opinion. 9 Q " Deianeira must f e e l too that the world i s mocking her as w e l l . She knows, thanks to the Messenger, that her s i t u a t i o n i s common knowledge. While accosting Lichas he s a i d , TCOAAOLCTUV daxwv. ev yean Tpaxuvuwv dyopcji uoAus aou xauxd y' euanHoua' oxAos (423-424). OUK eitwyoxos Aeywv 6ayapx* ecpaaxes 'HpaxAeu xauxriv dyeuv; (427-428). In her t y p i c a l s i l e n t reserve she does not v e r b a l l y express concern about the opinions of others. xaux' o3v (jjoBouyat yri udai-s yev 'HpaxAris eybs xaAnxab, xtls vewxdpas 6' dvnp (550-551). surely expresses more a fear of the actual state of a f f a i r s than of the state of a f f a i r s being known and talked about. 30 In f a c t , Deianeira does not mention Cypris by name, and she names Eros only once. 84 "EptOTL UGV VUV OOTI.C d v i a v iT-aTaxa u TI\5MTTIS OTttog es xeZpag, ou xaXais opoveu (441-442). Cy p r i s i s mentioned only three times i n the p l a y , and only by the Chorus (497, 515, 860-862). 31 "Kupris and Eros are not gods i n t h i s p l a y ; they are mere common nouns, ' d e s i r e ' and 'passion'" (Dorothea Wender, "Sexual Imagery i n the T r a c h i n i a e , " Ramus 3 (1974) 14). C e r t a i n l y the a l t e r n a t i o n of r e f e r e n c e s to Love between the two d i v i n i t i e s suggests that n e i t h e r of them i s i n d i v i d u a l l y d e f i n e d as a p e r s o n a l i t y . The one r e f e r e n c e that o v e r t l y r e f e r s to e i t h e r f i g u r e as a d i v i n i t y i s made by the Messenger at l i n e 354 "Epu)s 6e vuv / yo'vos SeGv SeX^euev aLxpdcrau xd6e (354-355). Two of the four occurrences of epa>s represent the common noun. At 443 the Messenger speaks of 6 xnod* epws (paveus • At 489 Lichas says, TOU T i j a S ' epunros r.ls anavd' noatov e<pu. 32 Cf. R. C. Jebb, Sophocles, The Plays and Fragments, Part V The T r a c h i n i a e (Cambridge, 1892) 70, 72. 33 D e i a n e i r a i d e n t i f i e s h e r s e l f w i t h the women Heracles has sent home. To r i d i c u l e them would be to r i d i c u l e h e r s e l f . 3 4 See l i n e s 5 3 6 f f . 35 I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g that D e i a n e i r a took the l o v e - p h i l t r e from Nessus i n the f i r s t p l a c e . I f she had had complete t r u s t and f a i t h i n Heracles (and what new b r i d e does not deserve to have such t r u s t and f a i t h ? ) , why would she have taken the l o v e - p h i l t r e ? 36 Throughout the p l a y Heracles i s the only person f o r whom she expresses l o v e . 85 37 Deianeira's children are, in fact, lost to her (see 817ff. and 911). This thought together with losing Heracles by her own dpapxta drives Deianeira to her death. " a u a L S ouata i s for her the negation of existence i t s e l f " (Kamerbeek, 196). I should place the emphasis more on Deianeira's loss of Heracles. She is dependent on Heracles (although she is forced to be independent since he offers her no support) and on being Heracles' wife. Her existence begins and ends with Heracles. The role of her children i s less apparent in the play. Hyllus i s the only one of her children whom we meet. Her other children are not even l i v i n g with her at present, but are at Tiryns (1152) and Thebes (1154). Why else would she not live u n t i l she could see Heracles and try to comfort him in the agony of his last l i v i n g moments? Perhaps the greatest and most tragic i l l u s t r a t i o n of Deianeira's isolation and abandonment occurs after her death when, following Hyllus' expression of her innocence in f u l f i l l i n g the "will o f the beast," Heracles forgets her. 39 Knox speaks of the hero's death as the logical end of the hero's refusal to compromise. Living in human society is one continuous compromise of subduing one's own w i l l and desires to the requirements of others. Deianeira's w i l l and desires are the love of Heracles, and the case of Iole shows her that she no longer i s able to cope with Heracles' requirements for other women. 40 Another line from the Nurse's speech illustrates a certain aspect of Deianeira's character: -na%6z,ei' tv peaoLauv euvaxnpuots ( 9 1 8 ) . Both Deianeira and Antigone need a man. Deianeira, to a certain extent, 86 has one; therefore, she can j u s t desire h i s place. Antigone has none; therefore, she must f i l l h i s place. Deianeira's character i s then n e c e s s a r i l y l e s s masculine, but not n e c e s s a r i l y l e s s h e r o i c . 41 Whitman, 106. S t i l l , i s there not a sense of v i c t o r y , even amidst the horror and s u f f e r i n g , for Oedipus, i n his possession of the t r u t h , and for Deianeira, i n the f i n a l i t y of her death? 4 2 Whitman, 106. 4 3 He c i t e s the f o l l o w i n g references to l e a r n i n g too l a t e and the uncertainty of knowledge: 669, 694, 710, 934, 1118, 1171. 44 Only the gods l i v e free from t o i l and have blessed l i v e s forever. 4 5 Whitman, 110. 46 Whitman, 110. 4 7 Whitman, 111. ^ The Chorus at 592 say "you must do i t to f i n d out" ( 6ptooav). 6pcfui i s always associated with a d e c i s i v e or f a t a l action ( c f . Whitman, 112 and 265, note 23). 49 Whitman, 112. E.^. , Deianeira possesses the paradoxical q u a l i t y of y i e l d i n g strength; she i s not weak, but has an i n t e l l i g e n t and heroic submissiveness; she has a r e s t r a i n e d , heroic grandeur; she i s a l l love; she preserves d i g n i t y amid humilations, by profound sympathy; she i s compassionate, i n t e l l i g e n t and gentle; the supremacy of her gentleness i s a kind of arete. Whitman does not recognize any less than admirable c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n Deianeira. 87 1 Is Deianeira not transgressing or defying Eros? The point i s that i n her speech to Lichas (436ff.) Deianeira denies the p o s s i b i l i t y of her contesting the case for Heracles' love with another woman. In a d d i t i o n to h i s i n v e r s i o n of the word "sophrosyne" and the r e s u l t i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , Whitman (114-115) denies any pride on the part of Deianeira. Contrary to Bowra (125-128), who f e e l s t h a t i n her recourse to magic Deianeira ceases to be a good wife and demonstrates unexpected and deplorable pride, Whitman states that recourse to magic i s not p r i d e f u l , and that i n the act of using the p h i l t r e D eianeira swallows the l a s t of her pride. To deny Deianeira a sense of pride seems to require one also to deny her a sense of her own i d e n t i t y and a reason for her a c t i o n . Deianeira has a strong i n t e r n a l sense of pride, a pride i n her love and i n her i d e n t i t y as the wife of Heracles. However, to c a l l her pride unexpected and deplorable i s to misunderstand Deianeira and her tragedy. Cf. Deianeira's speech 531ff. Cf. Herbert M u s u r i l l o , "Fortune's Wheel: The Symbolism of Sophocles' Women of T r a c h i s , " TAPA 92 (1961) 372-383. "Rightly then does she r i p her own peplos on her marriage bed and slay h e r s e l f there as on a sacred pyre. She i s a s a c r i f i c e to Cypris, 'the s i l e n t achiever of t h i s deed'" (Musurillo, 380). Likewise, e a r l i e r Deianeira's modesty and her youthful beauty were both s a c r i f i c e d to Heracles" (Musurillo, 377). H. F. Johansen, "Sophocles 1939-1959," Lustrum 7 (1962), 161. Cf. chapter one, page 17. I f she ever thought the p h i l t r e was Eros and represented h i s support, she was deceived by him no less than Ajax was deceived by Athena. 58 » t ayox^ov e£aC*p£t- gC*ov ES xou§', ews TUS otvxt, itap^evou ywr\ •H\r)%y (147-149), Deianeira t e l l s her Chorus of maidens. 59 We know i n d i r e c t l y that Deianeira does love her c h i l d r e n and s u f f e r worries on t h e i r account. Addressing the Chorus, she speaks of a maiden e n t e r i n g marriage and understanding through her own experience the troubles with which Deianeira i s weighed down. nxot, npbs dv6pbs n xexvcov cpoBoupevn (150). 60 xctux' ouv (poBoOpao pri TCOOLS pev ' HpaxAris epos naXmat, xr\S veuxepas 6' dvnp. (550-551). 61 Cf. Kamerbeek, 161. 62 T. B. L. Webster, "Sophocles' T r a c h i n i a e , " Greek Poetry and L i f e : Essays for G i l b e r t Murray (Oxford, 1936) 170. 6 3 Webster "Sophocles' T r a c h i n i a e , " 172. ^ dAA' ou yap, uoiuep elitov, opyauveuv xaAov yuvatwa vouv exouaav (552-553). Deianeira's Auir.npi.ov Acocpnpa (554) might not be an e x h i b i t i o n of rage, but i t i s Deianeira's s u b s t i t u t e for rage (an emotion for e i g n to her ch a r a c t e r ) . I t i s c e r t a i n l y not an example of vouv e'xwv. Perhaps t h i s 89 passage i s evidence of Deianeira's transgression of sophrosyne. 6 5 G e l l i e , 214, 215. 6 6 G e l l i e , 57. ^ 7 Kamerbeek, 161. 6 8 Kirkwood, 291. 69 Diptych i s a d e l i b e r a t e form, not a f a i l u r e of form; Kirkwood, 46. 7 0 G. M. Kirkwood, "The Dramatic. Unity of Sophocles' T r a c h i n i a e , " TAPA 72 (1941) 203, 205. In A Study of Sophoclean Drama, 118, he takes t h i s point even further and places the main emphasis of the c e n t r a l contrast not on the more-than-human reach of Heracles' nature, but on the human q u a l i t i e s of Deianeira. 7 1 G i l b e r t Norwood, Greek Tragedy (London, 1920) 158. 72 Kirkwood, A Study oi: Sophoclean Drama, 50. 73 I suggest that on the non-dramatic l e v e l Deianeira adds t h i s p i c ture h e r s e l f . One gets the f e e l i n g that the Heracles she loves e x i s t s only i n her mind. 74 Charles Segal, "The Hydra's N u r s l i n g : Image and A c t i o n i n the T r a c h i n i a e , " L'Antiquite Classique 44 (1975) 617. 7 5 Kirkwood, "The Dramatic Unity of Sophocles' T r a c h i n i a e , " 211. 7 ^ Kirkwood, A Study i n Sophoclean Drama, 50-51. 7 7 Lesky, 110. 90 78 Deianeira hardly appears to be convinced., as Lesley claims, that she i s not doing anything wrong. 79 Lesky observes i n the Ajax and the Antigone that the consequently disturbed world-order regains i t s e q u i l i b r i u m by the end of the play. Perhaps the prospective union of Hyllus and l o l e i s representative o f a r e t u r n to e q u i l i b r i u m i n the Trachiniae. Just as l o l e replaced Deianeira sexually, Hyllus replaces Heracles. 8 0 Kamerbeek, 25. 81 See Kamerbeek 109-110 for a treatment of Deianeira's confrontation with Lichas. O O Is not Ajax' action i n the Ajax then "almost t y p i c a l " of a Homeric war hero, and would i t be said that he did nothing "singular"? M u s u r i l l o (383) views Deianeira as the et e r n a l woman i n whom the forces of Cypris are p h y s i c a l l y expressed. 83 A. J . A. Waldock, Sophocles the Dramatist (Cambridge, 1951) 101-102. Cf. l i . A. Mason "'The Women of T r a c h i s ' , " Arion 2 (1963) 115. Deianeira alone i n the play dwells on the number of occasions when i Heracles has been " i n f e c t e d " by love. However, the play i s constructed to give primary s t r e s s to the fa c t that i n the case of l o l e Deianeira i s faced with a f i n a l , l a s t i n g r i v a l . 85 Kathleen F i e l d S l a t e r , "Some Suggestions for Staging the Tr a c h i n i a e , " Arion N.S. 3 (1976), 60. Assumption of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s a cl e a r i n d i c a t i o n of Deianeira's 84 h e r o i c n a t u r e and h e r r o l e as h e r o i n the a c t i o n o f the p l a y . H e r a c l e s n e v e r assumes any r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the p l a y ' s c a t a s t r o p h i c e v e n t s , e v e n t h o u g h i t was h i s a c t i o n i n s e n d i n g I o l e t o D e i a n e i r a t h a t s e t o f f the c h a i n o f e v e n t s . 8 7 S l a t e r , 60. 88 Knox, " S o p h o c l e s ' O e d i p u s , " T r a g i c Themes i n A n c i e n t L i t e r a t u r e , 22. O Q Kamerbeek ( 1 5 5 ) b e l i e v e s or' ? i v epyaaTeov ( 6 8 8 ) i s " v e r y s u g g e s t i v e o f D e i a n e i r a ' s i n n e r c o m p u l s i o n t o a c t as she d i d . " ^ I n the words o f t h e Chorus ( 8 4 1 - 8 4 6 ) the t r a g e d y o f D e i a n e i r a ' s g u i l t l e s g u i l t i s compressed. Q1 J Mason, 1 1 5 . 9 2 Kamerbeek, 1 7 5 . 9 3 Kamerbeek, 2 5 . 92 CHAPTER THREE HERACLES Her a c l e s appears i n the T r a c h i n i a e i n l i n e s 947-1278.1 One view of t h i s l a s t q uarter of the p l a y c l a i m s t h a t i t t r e a t s D e i a n e i r a only i n a negative sense, since her e x i s t e n c e i s shown to be bound up w i t h 2 H e r a c l e s ' . The l a t t e r p o r t i o n of the p l a y , however, deals w i t h D e i a n e i r a 3 i n a "negative sense" only to the extent that she i s not present. Heracles i s t r e a t e d more as a force than as a person. Sophocles has not done an y t h i n g to humanize h i s barbarous v i o l e n c e , immense a p p e t i t e s , and the superhuman dimensions that he d i s p l a y s as a f i g u r e of saga. "His s u p e r l a t i v e m a s c u l i n i t y and f o r c e , moving on a non-human l e v e l , form a 4 polar contrast: w i t h D e i a n e i r a ' s very human womanliness and dependence." A great deal of s t r e s s can be l a i d on the predestined c h a r a c t e r of H e r a c l e s ' f a t e by the constant mention throughout the play of the o r a c l e s . Because o r a c l e s are not mentioned where D e i a n e i r a i s concerned, i t has been claimed that t h i s "confirms our f e e l i n g t h a t her e x i s t e n c e and d e s t i n y are bound up w i t h Heracles'.""' But i t i s because her e x i s t e n c e and d e s t i n y are bound up w i t h H e r a c l e s ' that the o r a c l e s do p e r t a i n to D e i a n e i r a . In f a c t , the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the o r a c l e s seems to have a greater i n f l u e n c e on D e i a n e i r a ' s a c t i o n s than on H e r a c l e s ' . Heracles does not r i s e to meet h i s f a t e . He i s , i n f a c t , f u l l of b i t t e r n e s s against the f a t e that has brought him down at the hands of a woman. Seeing h i m s e l f trapped i n a p a i n f u l , demeaning, meaningless end, he i s outraged at h i s h e l p l e s s n e s s . D e i a n e i r a d i s c o v e r s courage and s t r e n g t h i n the face of her f a t e ; Heracles d i s c o v e r s weakness. vuv 6 ex 93 TOUOUTOU dnXus nupnuai, xdXac ("Now I, once such a man, i n my misery am discovered a woman," 1075). Possessed by the b e s t i a l i t y that the robe soaked i n the Centaur's blood symbolizes, he i s at the mercy of h i s pain; he i s unable to set h i s w i l l against i t . Jebb also creates problems for himself and the play, by wishing Heracles to perform a r o l e that i s not h i s . The Deianeira of the Trachiniae i s dramatically e f f e c t i v e i n the very highest degree,--in a manner almost unique; the Heracles of the Trachiniae, though grandly conceived, f a l l s short of being p e r f e c t l y e f f e c t i v e ; and he does so, because he has to follow Deianeira.* 7 Jebb believes that the catastrophe of the play turns on the poisoned robe, which i s to be the death of Heracles. He claims that the a r t i s t i c u nity of the tragedy demands that Heracles, the "hero himself," ought to be the p r i n c i p a l object of i n t e r e s t throughout. Perhaps, then, he should look elsewhere for the play's u n i t y . For Heracles t r u l y to dominate the scene, i t would require that "the pathos of t h i s unique being should not have to compete with the deepest pathos of humanity... For, i n such a competition, the purely human i n t e r e s t , i f f u l l y developed by a great master, could not but prove the stronger, as g being, i n i t s essence, more t r a g i c . " This statement seems to assign the r o l e of the play's t r a g i c hero to Deianeira. Jebb, however, i s u n w i l l i n g to accept the assignment. According to him, the only way to secure paramount e f f e c t i v e n e s s for Heracles would be to place Deianeira more i n the background by making her a less noble f i g u r e , q u a l i f y i n g her graces of character with less a t t r a c t i v e features, and to b r i n g out i n the f u l l e s t and most powerful manner everything sublime and pathetic i n "the great hero's d e s t i n y . " 9 T h a t t h i s h a s n o t b e e n d o n e j J g b b f e e l S j 94 i s t h e one s e r i o u s d e f e c t o f the T r a c h i n i a e . I t seems u n l i k e l y t h a t S o p h o c l e s w o u l d have w r i t t e n s u c h a c o n s p i c u o u s " d e f e c t " i n t o t h e p l a y . H e r a c l e s ' "paramount e f f e c t i v e n e s s " i s n o t found i n t h e r o l e o f the hero any more t h a n Odysseus' i s i n t h e A j a x . Two a s p e c t s o f H e r a c l e s i n t h e T r a c h i n i a e w i l l now be c o n s i d e r e d : h i s p o s i t i o n r e l a t i v e t o t h e c o n c e p t o f h e r o , and the p l a c e he h o l d s i n the a c t i o n o f the p l a y as a w h o l e , H e r a c l e s , l i k e D e i a n e i r a w i l l be measured a g a i n s t the h e r o i c models g i v e n i n c h a p t e r one. I . A r i s t o t l e H e r a c l e s does n o t f i t v e r y w e l l i n t o A r i s t o t l e ' s s y n t h e s i s o f the t r a g i c h e r o . Whether o r n o t h i s m i s f o r t u n e r e s u l t s f r o m an e r r o r o f judgment on h i s p a r t i s a moot p o i n t . C e r t a i n l y , by s e n d i n g l o l e home t o D e i a n e i r a , he c a u s e s the sequence o f e v e n t s t h a t l e a d t o h i s c a t a s t r o p h e ; b u t t h e r e i s no i n d i c a t i o n t h a t h i s a c t i o n i s t h e r e s u l t o f a d e c i s i o n o r any e f f o r t o f judgment on h i s p a r t . I n f a c t , he a p p e a r s t o a c t w i t h c o m p l e t e t h o u g h t l e s s n e s s . B e i n g a s l a v e t o the vdaos o f h i s p a s s i o n , he c a u s e s h i s m i s f o r t u n e by q u a l i t i e s o f v i c e and d e p r a v i t y , w h i c h A r i s t o t l e v i e w e d as a n t i - h e r o i c . The d i s e a s e he s u f f e r s f r o m t h e p o i s o n e d r o b e r e p r e s e n t s an i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n o f the l u s t i n h e r e n t i n h i s n a t u r e . I t s meaning matches the " h a l f - b e a s t " i m a g e r y o f the p l a y , s i n c e " f r o m v i c t o r y o v e r b u l l - g o d and c e n t a u r t o h i d e o u s d e a t h i n the p o i s o n e d r o b e i s a l l 1 0 t o o s h o r t a s t e p . " Three t i m e s D e i a n e i r a s p e a k s o f H e r a c l e s ' p a s s i o n f o r l o l e as a voaos ; and he w i l l s u f f e r a r e a l , p h y s i c a l voaos a s a d i r e c t r e s u l t o f t h i s m e t a p h o r i c a l v d a o s , h i s l o v e f o r l o l e , and D e i a n e i r a ' s l o v e f o r h i m " I t i s n o t she J^Iole] who i s the s l a v e , c o n t r a r y t o a l l 12 a p p e a r a n c e s ; t h e s l a v e , we now see c l e a r l y , i s H e r a c l e s . " H e r a c l e s ' 95 disease produces a mental derangement (TO6' aMnAnTov/ yavuxc a v d o s , " t h i s unassuageable bloom of madness" 998-999). As h i s love of Iole has led him before to k i l l innocent Oechalians, the fury of h i s disease causes him, i n a b l i n d rage, to k i l l the innocent L i c h a s . The disease of h i s l a s t houts stands f o r the "destructive.power of the force that has 13 held him i n t h r a l l throughout h i s l i f e " ; throughout, he i s not i n co n t r o l of the a b i l i t y to excercise h i s own independent w i l l . I t i s not an e r r o r of judgment but H a x u x Mal yox^npta that b r i n g him down. The naming of Nessus as h i s murderer sets the cause of h i s death f ar back i n time, turns i t away from the human agent and back to Heracles' own d i v i n e , though b e s t i a l , nature. Heracles' catastrophe, therefore, i s more a r e s u l t of depravity than some sing l e e r r o r . His moral, violence leads to h i s d e s t r u c t i o n through Deianeira and by Zeus; his conspicuous f a u l t (not e r r o r ) causes the venom to be used against himself; i f he had remained l o y a l to Deianeira, she would never have given i t a thought. Sophocles, for h i s own evident purpose, has made the conduct of Heracles deplorable by making Heracles demand Iole for h i m s e l f . ^ 4 According to K i t t o , Sophocles did not invent Heracles' f i n a l "inexorable command" to Hyllus i n order to br i n g about the marriage of Hyllus and I o l e ; he invented H y l l u s 1 passionate resistance i n order to make Heracles inexorable. Heracles behaves toward Hyllus i n the same way as he has behaved on the summit of Cenaeum, toward Deianeira when he thoughtlessly sent Iole home to supplant her, toward Oechalia when he destroyed so many people i n order to win I p l e , and toward Iphitus and Lichas. Zeus punished Heracles for h i s act of violence in k i l l i n g I p h i t u s , and Heracles vowed to enslave Eurytus and h i s family in return f o r what i n f a c t was a punishment i n f l i c t e d by Zeus. Much mote i s accomplished than the enslavement of Eurytus' family, which leads 96 K i t t o to r a i s e the following question: "In what s p i r i t w i l l Zeus receive Heracles' thank o f f e r i n g for h i s t o t a l destruction of a c i t y ? " " ^ Waldock, however, maintains that, although Heracles admittedly has f a u l t s , he i s s t i l l the "best of men" i n theory as well as i n many points of r e a l i t y and that Sophocles does not s e r i o u s l y r e s i s t t h i s idea. He b e l i e v e s that the v i r t u e s of Heracles s t i l l form part of the drama. Heracles i s caught i n some unfortunate moments, but one i s not allowed to forget what he i s and has been. "He himself f e e l s the irony of h i s p l i g h t , that he who has helped so many should now be so h e l p l e s s himself.' He does see the irony of h i s p l i g h t . Heracles i s the only one to r e l a t e even a p a r t i a l catalogue of h i s labors; i n many ways those labors are external to the play i t s e l f . His p h y s i c a l strength i s h i s only v i r t u e , and during the course of the play i t i s never displayed as a v i r t u e , but as a d e s t r u c t i v e , passionate, b e s t i a l force that f i n a l l y overmasters i t s own master through an act of w i l l of h i s l o v i n g wife. Waldock claims one i s not allowed to forget what Heracles i s and has been. But those very "unfortunate moments" Waldock wishes to deny rev e a l what Heracles i s . What he has been i s pictured very c l e a r l y i n the scene described by Deianeira and the Chorus of his b a t t l e with Achelous. Heracles brought deliverance from the more obvious horror. But was i t r e a l l y "deliverance, or was the b a t t l e one of monster against monster, both raging i n l u s t (uepcvou Asxewv ) for prizes too gentle and innocent for e i t h e r ? "The 'love' that i n f e c t s the n a t u r a l l y lecherous i s not t r a g i c a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g . I t i s only when the good (such as Phaedra) are i n f e c t e d that tragedy can 17 a r i s e . " The "best of men," the demi-god Heracles, i s n o t o r i o u s l y i n f e c t e d . I t i s the love that " i n f e c t s " that leads to tragedy i n the T r a c h i n i a e . 97 Despite h i s f a u l t s , i s Heracles one of those ev yeyctXri o6*5p O V T I O V nau euxuxta ? Certain passages do bring out an apparently favorable reputation of Heracles the demi-god, often r e f e r r e d to as the son of Zeus and Alcmene. D e i a n e i r a : 6 H X E L V O C T\\$C Znvbs 'AXxynvris te raXs (19). The famous Heracles, son of Alcmene and Zeus. D e i a n e i r a : eC ye XPH yeveuv udvTtov dpoorou cpoiToc eaTepriyevnv (176-177). ...that I may have to l i v e deprived of the best of a l l men Messenger: TO?X' es 6duous coos T O V itoXu^nXov itdatv fiCetv, cpavevta auv xparet vi,xri<pdpto (185-186). Soon there s h a l l come to your h a l l s that much envied man, your husband, appearing i n his conquering might. Chorus: ( T I ' V E S ^ dyqu'yuoi, Kcxiegav npb ydywv...; (504). Who were the v a l i a n t contenders i n courtship? D e i a n e i r a : 6 ULO"TOS fiytv xdyadoc xaXouyevoc (541). My Heracles, c a l l e d f a i t h f u l and noble. Chorus: 6 yap AL6S 'AAxunvas xdpog aouTat itdoas operas Xacpup' exuv t%' oCxous (644-646). The son of Zeus and Alcmeme hastens to h i s home bearing s p o i l s of a l l v a l o r . H y l l u s : navtiov apuatov d'vopa xlov tiii X ^ O V L (811). the best of a l l men on earth Chorus: dyotxXeLTOV (854). the renowned one 98 Chorus: TOV Zrivbg aXxupov yovov (956 ) . Zeus' strong son Chorus: dvaxxog, ouxtg ouog uv eXauvexau (1045). The king, so great a man, i s driven by such s u f f e r i n g . Heracles: 0 TMS dpujxng ynxpog uivoyaayevog, 18 b TOO xax* aaxpa Znvbg auSndeig yovoz (1105-1106). I who have been c a l l e d the son of the noblest mother, I who have claimed to be the o f f s p r i n g of Zeus i n the heavens. Chorus: 2> xXpyov 'EXXdg, itev^og ouov eCoopw e^oucrav, dv6pog xou6e y' EL. ocpaXrloexau (1112-1113). 0 unhappy Greece, I behold how great a mourning you s h a l l have i f you lose t h i s man. With the exception of l i n e 541, which i s s a r c a s t i c ( l i n e s 644-646 are b i t t e r l y i r o n i c ) , the references can a l l be understood as a l l u s i o n s to Heracles' p h y s i c a l strength. Waldock claims that the sentiment expressed by Hyllus i n l i n e 811, when he accuses his mother of having s l a i n the best man i n the world, whose l i k e they s h a l l not see again, i s the constant theme of the. play; that i s "that Heracles i s worth the tears and the anxiety and the yearning, and we must accept i t as s e r i o u s l y 19 meant." Sophocles, Waldock b e l i e v e s , was not s a r c a s t i c every time he wrote the "best of men." The characters who c a l l Heracles the "best of men" are not s a r c a s t i c , but t h i s provides no assurance that Sophocles was not. C e r t a i n l y , to Deianeira (177) Heracles i s the "best of men," because he i s her husband, the one she loves. To Hyllus (811) he i s the best of men, because he i s his father and because of h i s tremendous p h y s i c a l strength. I t i s not at 99 a l l c e r t a i n , however, that Heracles i s worth the tears, anxiety, and yearning; i n f a c t , the theme i s not that he i s worth the te a r s , but that he i s not worth them. Perhaps, i f he did not indulge i n s e l f - p i t y to such a great extent, he would be a more sympathetic f i g u r e . I t i s only through Deianeira and her loss that Heracles becomes worthy of mourning. Although the epi t h e t s a t t r i b u t e an apparently favorable reputation to Heracles, they are not i l l u m i n a t i n g i n terms of his character, and he i s c e r t a i n l y not described as having any moral q u a l i t i e s . A r i s t o t l e requires that the t r a g i c hero be "of the number of those i n the enjoyment of great reputation and pr o s p e r i t y " and that the hero's fortunes must change e£ euxuxtag et-s SuaxuxCotv as a r e s u l t of some great e r r o r on his part. Reference to the prosper i t y that might be expected to. accompany Heracles' incompletely defined reputation i s almost completely l a c k i n g . He has spent a year i n the service of a Lydian woman while h i s family has been l i v i n g i n e x i l e . His fortunes do not change from happiness to misery. His only moments of b r i e f happiness and prosperity are deceptive, and are r e l a t e d by hearsay a f t e r he has f a l l e n to greater depths of misery. The band of slave women he sends home are perhaps representative of h i s p r o s p e r i t y , and they do cause. Deianeira h e s i t a n t l y u- 20 to recognize h i s success. uws 6* obn £yw x a ^P° l-v' civ, d\>6pbg eoxuxn xXuouaa rcpa£LV xnv6e, rcavfiuv.^ ) cppevC; TcoXAp 'ax' a v d y K r i xf)6e xouxo auvxpexebv. opws 5' E v e o i L xouauv eo axoitoupevoLg \ * 21 xapSeuv xov eZ> npdaaovxa, pn acpaXri noxe (293-297). Yes, I should have every r i g h t to r e j o i c e when I hear the news of my husband's prosperous success. Surely my joy must keep pace with his good fortune. 100 S t i l l , i t i s i n the nature of those contemplating the s i t u a t i o n w ell to fear for the man who prospers so, l e s t he f a l l . There i s , however, no d i r e c t reference to Heracles' p r o s p e r i t y and no i n d i c a t i o n at a l l that he considers himself to be enjoying p r o s p e r i t y . Hyllus r e l a t e s Heracles' b r i e f moment of deceptive prosp e r i t y and prospective happiness between the time when he clothes himself i n the deadly robe and the time when he completes the s a c r i f i c i a l slaughter (759ff.). This i s the moment of the oracle's f u l f i l l m e n t . Deianeira speaks of i t before i t s r e a l i z a t i o n : cos n TCXCUTHV TOU Btou ueXAeu xeXeuv, n TOUTOV Spas $.%\ov es TO y' uarepov xov AOLTEOV non. guoTov euat'tov' e'xeuv (79-81). That e i t h e r he would come to the end of h i s l i f e or have by now, and for the r e s t of h i s time a happy l i f e , once he had accomplished t h i s task. Heracles speaks of i t i n the moment of r e a l i z i a t i o n : n UOL XP°" V U T ? ? S V T I xai napdvTL vuv ecpaaxe uo'x§eov TCOV efpeOTtoTtov epoi, Xuauv TeXetaQat xaddxouv npd^euv xaXios (1169-1171). which t o l d me that, at t h i s l i v i n g and present time, release from a l l the t o i l s imposed on me would be complete. And I thought that then I should be happy. Heracles cannot pass from a state of happiness to one of misery. He i s i n f a c t , i n a state of misery, hoping for release from h i s t o i l s and the attainment of happiness. His condition changes only from misery to misery; the oracle meant nothing other than, as Heracles says, TO 6' f)V ctp' 101 ou6ev aXXo uXnv d a v e u v e p e ("But i t meant nothing other than that i would die then," 1172). Nor does Heracles s a t i s f y A r i s t o t l e ' s requirement that t r a g i c heroes perform t h e i r t r a g i c deeds et6oTas Ha! Y ^ Y ^ w a x o v T a s or aYVouvras \ 22 6e npaCctt TO detvov, eZ§' uarepov dvaYvajpuaau Tnv cpuAuxv, He does not . recognize any of h i s actions as t r a g i c . He neither regrets nor even understands h i s action of sending l o l e home to supplant Deianeira, and he c a r r i e s t h i s lack of regret and understanding to the ultimate extreme when he orders Hyllus to marry l o l e and does not respond i n any way to H y l l u s ' accusation that she i s the cause of Deianeira's death and Heracles' c o n d i t i o n . I I . Knox Knox' two general statements that the Sophoclean hero i s "a s i n g l e p e r s o n a l i t y f a c i n g the supreme c r i s i s of h i s l i f e " and i s "a heroic i n d i v i d u a l whose freedom of action implies f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y " do not f u l l y apply to Heracles. The c r i s i s he faces i s not the act of sending l o l e home, to Deianeira, that i s Deianeira's c r i s i s . I t i s not a turning point or c r i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n for Heracles; he does i t without any r e c o g n i t i o n or thought of i t s possible s i g n i f i c a n c e or e f f e c t s . No other course i s considered, and Heracles never expresses any regrets at having taken the action he did take. The supreme c r i s i s Heracles faces i s h i s 23 impending death, but t h i s too does not seem to be the c r i s i s of the play. I t i s the d e c i s i o n f a c i n g Deianeira when she has f u l l knowledge of l o l e that i s the c r i s i s of the play; Heracles' death i s neither turning point nor c r i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n , but the culmination of Deianeira's t r a g i c d e c i s i o n . When Heracles r e a l i z e s the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of h i s death, a l l 102 action has already been taken. He has no cont r o l over the f i n a l outcome of events other than h i s two commands to H y l l u s . He i s a pawn i n the action of the s e r i e s of events set i n motion by Deianeira. Heracles i s able to exercise freedom of a c t i o n , however c o n t r o l l e d i t may be by passion (Eros), up to the time when he hears that Nessus was responsible for p r o v i d i n g the " l o v e - p h i l t r e . " Heracles, however, i n no way accepts f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for h i s act i o n s , p r e f e r r i n g to blame others. He k i l l s L i chas, because Lichas brought the robe; he wants to k i l l Deianeira, because she sent the robe; he speaks b i t t e r l y of and to Zeus, even blaming him for h i s s u f f e r i n g ( o u a v y' ap* edou XoSgav, olav "What an object o f outrage you have made me," 996), because Zeus i s allowing h i s death. He does not consider that h i s nature and actions may have been even p a r t i a l l y responsible for h i s present s u f f e r i n g . When he r e a l i z e s the part Nessus has played i n the dis a s t e r and how i t i s i n accordance with the o r a c l e , a l l p o s s i b i l i t y o f freedom o f action and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s removed. o"yot, oppovu 6ri fjUMcpopag I V eoTOtuev ("Ah! now I r e a l i z e the doom that i s upon me," 1145), Heracles says, and the r e s t of h i s actions are i n response to h i s understanding o f the oracle and seemingly i n accordance with some sort of divine command. Waldock's opinion i s that Heracles sees the pattern of h i s l i f e c l e a r l y to the end; "and from now on h i s preoccupation i s (so to say) to play out h i s d i v i n e l y N .,24 appointed r o l e . According to Knox and others, the Sophoclean t r a g i c hero i s i s o l a t e d . Although many i n d i c a t i o n s point to his i s o l a t i o n , Heracles does not convincingly s a t i s f y requirements for the various types of i s o l a t i o n that Knox mentions. During h i s p r i o r l i f e and while i n the grips of the poisoned robe, Heracles' i s o l a t i o n i s on two l e v e l s . On the one hand, he i s separated from humanity by being above i t as the son of Zeus; a superhuman 103 i n strength, he w i l l die the v i c t i m of a fate f o r e t o l d by h i s father (1159). On the other hand, he i s separated from humanity by being below mankind, on the l e v e l of beasts. His pain i s savagely p h y s i c a l , but i t i s Zeus who occurs to him as the l o g i c a l healer (1002). The heroic feats he mentions (1092ff.) i n h i s b a t t l e s with monsters are also combinations of the b e s t i a l and d i v i n e . P. Biggs, too, emphasizes that Heracles i s alone. In h i s normal state he i s remote from humanity; i t does not occur to other characters 25 to apply t h e i r human terms to him. In h i s diseased s t a t e , h i s s u f f e r i n g i s incomparable, and h i s agonies can only be greater than h i s own labors (854, 1090ff.). The extreme degree of h i s i s o l a t i o n i s symbolized by the e f f e c t of c e r t a i n symptoms of h i s disease, b r i n g i n g him f i n a l l y to helplessness and f o r c i n g the groanless man ( d o T e v a x x o g 1074) to cry out. As a s u f f e r e r , Heracles i s cut o f f completely from h i s environment; he has a morbid s e n s i t i v i t y o f t o u c h , and h i s f i r s t words are an i n q u i r y to determine where he i s and who the people around him are (983ff.). Because h i s intense pain turns a l l h i s concentration inward and thereby i n t e n s i f i e s i t s e l f , h i s awareness i s not for externals. V. Ehrenberg comments that the tragedy of Heracles i s that of his own nature and h i s own actions. " I t s very core i s h i s greatness which makes him believe that he i s e n t i r e l y independent, a law unto himself."^^ E. M. Waith believes that Heracles' disregard for others i s "a s t r i k i n g 27 feature of his i s o l a t i o n and of h i s s t a t u r e . " Waith considers Heracles to be supremely gre£it and not at a l l self-centered or u n t r a g i c . P. E. E a s t e r l i n g , while s t i l l b e l i e v i n g Heracles to be supremely great 28 and not u n t a g i c , does state that he i s a "supremely s e l f - c n t r e d h ro." K i t t o sees Heracles' greatness as a r e s u l t of h i s self-centeredness. 104 "Heracles i s one who can do heroic things p a r t l y because he can s a c r i f i c e everything to himself. He has never a thought for another; he i s e n t i r e l y s e l f - c e n t r e d , r u t h l e s s to enemies, a c q u i s i t i v e , p o s s i b l y a f f e c t i o n a t e (1147) but e n t i r e l y s e l f i s h towards h i s family, u n f e e l i n g to h i s wife, 29 t r a n s i e n t with other women, and a very great man." But i s the equation of i s o l a t i o n and self-centeredness j u s t i f i e d ? Is the Heracles depicted within the play r e a l l y "a very great man"? Oedipus with a l l h i s self-awareness i s driven to a c t i o n by thoughts of others, h i s supposed parents i n Corinth and the plague-infested c i t i z e n s of Thebes. He recognizes a law of moral r i g h t and wrong e x i s t i n g outside himself. Ajax, with h i s sense of self-awareness and desire for personal honor and glory, s t i l l remains driven by and accountable to an external i d e a l of m a r t i a l honor and glory. There i s a d i f f e r e n c e between true i s o l a t i o n and mere self-centeredness. Heracles has no i d e a l other than himself and outside himself to guide him. He s e e m s not so much i s o l a t e d as t e r r i b l y s e l f - c e n t e r e d . According to Knox, the hero's i s o l a t i o n i n time and space imposes on him the f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of his own action and i t s consequences and compels him to act without a past to guide him or a future to comfort him. Heracles, however, as has been previously discussed, does not accept f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for h i s a c t i o n , nor i s i t e n t i r e l y c l e a r that he i s i s o l a t e d i n time and space. He seems to accept the torture of the poisoned robe as another labor and, i n that sense, does have a past to guide him. 5 itoXAcx dr] MOU, deppct x a ! X d y u xaxa xa! x e P ° ! x a ! VWTOLOL p o x ^ n a a g e y ^ M0UTIU) T O L O U T O V O U T * C t X O L T L C T) ALOS npoudrixev o u d * 6 OTuyvos E u p u a ^ e u s e p o ! 105 oZov T6*6' fi SoXwnuc OLVEWS xdpn xa9?i(J;£V wyou-s TOLS eyoCs 'Eptvuuv ucpavTov aycpC*BXno"Tpov, $ SudXAuyau (1046-1052). Many are the t o i l s for these hands, t h i s back, that I have had, hot and grievous even to t e l l o f . But neither the wife of Zeus nor h a t e f u l Eurystheus has ever appointed me to such a task as t h i s that the a r t f u l - l o o k i n g daughter of Oineus has fastened upon my shoulders, a woven, e n c i r c l i n g net of the F u r i e s , by which I am u t t e r l y destroyed. At l i n e s 1085ff. and 1092ff. he s p e c i f i c a l l y mentions various of h i s previous labors i n connection with h i s present and greatest labor. aXAwv TE pdx$wv yupuwv eyeuadynv xoueeus Tportau' Earners TOJV eywv XEpSv (1101-1102). and I have had my taste of ten thousand other t o i l s , and no one has set trophies of v i c t o r y over my hands. Perhaps Heracles' only i s o l a t i o n i s that: previously he has always 30 i n f l i c t e d s u f f e r i n g and has never before been the. one to receive i t . There i s no question that the present i s a c r u c i a l time for Heracles; f| you xpdvtj) TS5 £U5VTL xa! itapdvTL vuv Etpaaxe ydx§wv TWV ecpeaTtoTOJV eyoV A u a t v TeXeta&at ( 1 1 6 9 - 1 1 7 1 ) . which t o l d me that, at t h i s l i v i n g and present time, .release from a l l the t o i l s imposed on me would be complete. He does not, however, seem to consider himself i s o l a t e d within the time and space of h i s end. I t i s of no great concern to him that he i s cut of f from h i s family, except for H y l l u s . He has ev i d e n t l y been h a b i t u a l l y 106 i n a t t e n t i v e to them. He asks Hyllus to c a l l together a l l h i s other c h i l d r e n and h i s mother Alcmene (1147-1149), not having paid enough a t t e n t i o n to them to know, or at l e a s t remember, that some of h i s c h i l d r e n are i n Thebes and the others and h i s mother are at T i r y n s . Upon hearing H y l l u s 1 report of t h e i r whereabouts, he d i s p l a y s a conspicuous.lack of response. Making no fur t h e r mention of h i s other r e l a t i o n s , he proceeds to turn hi s whole a t t e n t i o n on H y l l u s . His connection with Hyllus i s probably the strongest evidence against h i s i s o l a t i o n . He i s able to and does command Hyllus to carry out c e r t a i n tasks r e l a t e d to h i s death by burning 31 on a pyre. Heracles does not experience the t o t a l i s o l a t i o n of Deianeira that causes her to k i l l h e r s e l f . That Heracles has such a c l e a r p i c t u r e of how h i s end i s to come, even though t h i s play contains no evidence or thought of h i s apotheosis, denies h i s i s o l a t i o n i n time with no future to comfort him. His future, as known from the o r a c l e , comforts him by r e l e a s i n g him from his p a t h e t i c , womanly s u f f e r i n g . His order to Hyllus to marry Iole and h i s self-determined assurance that: the order w i l l be c a r r i e d out provide him with s t i l l another connection with the future. The foremost d i f f i c u l t y i n f i t t i n g Heracles to Knox' model of the Sophoclean hero i s that he does not perform an action that he recognizes as c r i t i c a l and causative. His s u f f e r i n g has been made i n e v i t a b l e by Deianeira's i n i t i a l d e c i s i o n and ac t i o n . His own action i s merely i n response to Deianeira's and exercises no c o n t r o l over the outcome of the play's events. Knox1 requirements that the source of the hero's action as well as the greatness of the action belong to the hero alone cannot apply to Heracles, nor does a free and responsible action b r i n g Heracles through s u f f e r i n g to v i c t o r y or cause him to f a l l and experience defeat before he reaches h i s f i n a l v i c t o r y . The action Heracles takes during " h i s " portion of the play i s the r e s u l t of the play's action and not the cause of 107 i t . No heroic a c t i o n brings Heracles through s u f f e r i n g . He cannot endure s u f f e r i n g ; although he. has i n f l i c t e d i t on others, he cannot bear i t himself. For Heracles s u f f e r i n g and glory are not bound i n t o an i n d i s s o l u b l e u n i t y as they are for Knox' Sophoclean hero. Heracles hates h i s s u f f e r i n g because i t makes him weak and woman-like (1071, 1075); i t i s a h u m i l i a t i o n , not a glory. His only f i n a l v i c t o r y w i l l be to make an end of h i s s u f f e r i n g , iraOAd rot xaxiov/ auxri, xeAEUxri XO06E xdvSpoc. uaxdxn ("The r e s p i t e from s u f f e r i n g i s this--my f i n a l end," 1255-1256). His l a s t two speeches (1252-1256 and 1259-1263) indic a t e that he finds no 32 glor y i n s u f f e r i n g , h i s v i c t o r y w i l l be none other than h i s own defeat. Knox' hero renders h i s act i o n f u l l y autonomous by r e f u s i n g to accept his human l i m i t a t i o n . Heracles cannot s a t i s f y t h i s point, not only because of the problem of h i s a c t i o n , or rather non-action, but also because of his p o s i t i o n as the son of Zeus. He i s not c l e a r l y and n e c e s s a r i l y bound by human l i m i t a t i o n s . I t i s Knox' view that by defying the gods, who are guardians of these l i m i t s , the hero removes from them r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for h i s action and i t s consequences. Heracles, 33 however, i n h i s p o s i t i o n beyond human l i m i t a t i o n s , maintains h i s unmitigated r e f u s a l of acceptance of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . He may have defied Zeus by such deeds as k i l l i n g Iphitus and sacking Oechalia, but i n h i s c h i l d i s h w i l l f u l n e s s he w i l l not admit to himself that he has done wrong. Heracles addresses h i s f i r s t speech to Zeus, & Zeu / TIOL yas n.xw; ("0 Zeus, what land have I come to?" 983-984). In h i s second speech (983ff.), he accuses Zeus of being responsible for h i s s u f f e r i n g , ouav p' ap' E$OU Awgotv, ouav ( 9 9 6 ) . What an object of outrage you have made me! 108 T L S Y aP doufidc, T L S 6 XE LPOTe*x v rIS t a x o p L a s , Ss Tnv6* aTnv Xtopts Znvos K a T a M n X n a e u ; (1000-1002) Is there any enchanter, any craftsman surgeon who can exorcise t h i s curse, but Zeus? Even a f t e r hearing from Hyllus (1138-1139) that Deianeira had good in t e n t i o n s and had anointed the robe with what she thought was a a-repYnuotj a love charm, i s npoae£6e T O U S ev6ov ydyous ("when she saw that marriage i n her house" 1139), Heracles never considers that he might be responsible for what has happened. He merely asks which Trachinian druggist provided the charm. Having learned that Nessus was the source, he again does not 34 accept h i s own r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ; instead, he accepts the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of the o r a c l e v Nor i s Heracles' s h i r k i n g of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y r e s t r i c t e d to the end of h i s l i f e and the end of the play. During h i s speech, Lichas, having t o l d of Heracles' enslavement to Io l e (oux eAeuSepos, / ciAA' evmoAndeLS, "he was not free but a bought as a s l a v e " 249-250), twice st r e s s e s Heracles' own admission of the shameful bondage (us <Pno' auxds, "as he himself d e c l a r e s " 249, u s C U J T O S Aeyeu, "as he says himself" 253). However, i t i s Zeus who i s labeled as the author of the deed (Zeus O T O U TtpctxTWp cpavrj "Zeus appears to be the executer of the work" 251 j 6 T U V d u d v T u v Zeus HCXT'TIP' ' O A U P T C L O S , "he who i s the father of a l l , Zeus Olympian" 275). As E a s t e r l i n g mentions, one may f e e l that i t i s a gross s h i f t i n g of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to c a l l Zeus T t p d x T u p and therefore excuse Heracles. Perhaps Heracles' behavior ought to be seen i n the same way as any r e l i g i o u s authority. An act of impiety has been committed, and a penalty must be paid before the doer can be ayvo's ( c f . l i n e 258) again. 109 N In E a s t e r l i n g ' s view, the a p p e l l a t i o n Zeus u p a H T i o p i s "patently i r o n i c a l . ' I t i s Knox 1 view that, despite the hero's s e l f - c r e a t e d i s o l a t i o n , the presence of the gods i s always f e l t and, even though the hero f i g h t s against them, one f e e l s the gods may have more concern and respect for him than for the common man. Heracles, i n his s e l f - c e n t e r e d i s o l a t i o n , i s always aware of h i s sonship from Zeus. He never consciously f i g h t s against the gods. His passive y i e l d i n g to Eros i s manifest, and, i n h i s delusion and self-centeredness, he does not consider that h i s actions may not be approved by Zeus. Respect of the gods f o r Heracles i s not very apparent i n the Trachiniae. Zeus' punishment of Heracles for h i s immoral ac t i o n s , k i l l i n g Iphitus (epyou 6' e x a x t xou6e pnvtaas ava^, "But the king was angry on account of t h i s act of h i s , " 274) and sacking the c i t y of Eurytus, i s c e r t a i n l y not i n f l i c t e d out of respect for some n o b i l i t y on Heracles' part. I t i s an i n t e r e s t i n g question t h a t the Chorus- ask: e.ueV. TLS w5e / TEKVOLOI, ZTJV' agouAov e£6ev; "When has .anyone seen Zeus so careless of his c h i l d r e n ? " 139-140). Knox' hero i s faced with e i t h e r possible d i s a s t e r or a compromise, the acceptance of which w i l l betray the hero's conception of himself, his r i g h t s , and duties. Heracles i s faced with no choice, but with an unchosen d i s a s t e r that does, indeed, betray h i s conception of himself (ftfiAus oupnpau xcxAas "In my misery I am discovered a woman," 1075) and what he considers to be his r i g h t s as the son of Zeus (Setup' ctv TtdppcuSev L6oupnv "Even to see him from afar would be a wonder!" 1003). The re s o l u t i o n of the hero against the course of compromise, according to Knox, leads to the dramatic tension of Sophocles' plays. Heracles' only determined r e s o l u t i o n i s formed a f t e r hearing of Nessus 1 r o l e i n supplying the "love p h i l t r e , " at a point (1141-1142) rather l a t e i n the play to be responsible for leading to the play's dramatic tension. I t i s 110 true that throughout the play Heracles remains true to h i s physis of extraordinary and w i l l f u l p h y s i c a l strength and power. But, because he does not make any conscious, c r i t i c a l d e c i s i o n or take any such a c t i o n , his r o l e , as has been mentioned previously, seems to be of a force rather than of a heroic character. The s i g n i f i c a n c e of Heracles' f u l f i l l m e n t of c e r t a i n of Knox' c h a r a c t e r i s t i c recurrent patterns of character in s i t u a t i o n and act i o n i s n u l l i f i e d by his lack of c r i t i c a l d e c i s i o n and action. The Heracles, in the T r a c h i n i a e , the Heracles who, having come from Thebes TO^CX MCO, Ao*YXaS pduaAdv TE TLvdaawv ("brandishing hi s bow, h i s spears and cl u b " 512), conquered the r i v e r god Achelous and l a t e r k i l l e d the centaur Nessus, e x h i b i t s conduct that could be described as "wild," "raw and savage," and "hard." The Heracles who a c t u a l l y appears i n the play, f i l l e d with desire for revenge on Deianeira, e x h i b i t s these t r a i t s to an even greater degree. Although his de c i s i o n to act by k i l l i n g Deianeira i s not a c r i t i c a l d e cision w i t h i n the play and i s a d e c i s i o n that he completely forgets a f t e r hearing Nessus' name, he expresses i t i n the f i e r y temper c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Knox' "angry" Sophoclean hero. Even before he enters, the Chorus focus a t t e n t i o n on h i s a r r i v a l by saying that they have heard he i s approaching, aansTov TL Qaupa ("an unspeakable wonder" 961). H y l l u s ' words, addressed to his father, give a f u l l p i c t u re of the rage and fury of Heracles. 6ds pou aectUTov, pn TOOOUTOV <I)S 6ct7<vn Supif 5uaopyos. ou Y"P * v yvoCris ev OLS Xaupetv iipoSupri «ctv oxoig aXyeZg paxriv (1117-1119). Give me yo u r s e l f without t h i s grim anger that s t i n g s you to such passion. Otherwise you cannot l e a r n how mistaken i s the pleasure your passion craves, the pain i t f e e l s . xSv aou aTponpetri duyo 's, ei xb TC5V yadouc (1134). Even your passion would turn aside i f you knew a l l . Like Knox' Sophoclean hero, Heracles does not want to hear. At f i r s t , he does allow Hyllus to speak. enet itapeaxes dvxLcpcovrioau, itdxep, ai/yriv rcapaaxtov xXuSC* pou voatov oyioc (1114-1115). Father, since you allow me to "speak to you now, hold your s i l e n c e and l i s t e n to me, though you are s i c k . He i s u n w i l l i n g , however, to l i s t e n to anything that w i l l d i s t u r b h i s 3 7 , r e s o l u t i o n . When Hyllus mentions h i s mother, Heracles rage and defenses r i s e and he refuses to l i s t e n . Heracles: 5 TiayKc'xi.o'xe, naV Ttapeyvnca)'yap a u xrjs u a x p o c p d v r o u y n x p d s , LOS xXueuv eye; H y l l u s : e x ^ T A P O U X U J S w a x e yVi o x y a v i t p e n e t v . Heracles: o u 6r\Ta T O U S y e u p o ' a d e v f i y a p T n y e v o u s (1124-1127). You malignant curse, w i l l you again make mention of the murderess of your father--and i n my hearing? Her state i s such that i t i s not f i t t i n g to keep s i l e n t . No, no s i l e n c e for the crime she has committed! Contrary to Knox 1 Sophoclean hero, Heracles not only f i n a l l y l i s t e n s (Ae ' y ' , euXagou 6e yn cpavrjs xaxbs yeya's "Speak, "but have a care. Do not disgrace y o u r s e l f , " 1129), but a l s o , having heard, surrenders h i s fury. He i s enough unlike the "angry," "strange," and " t e r r i b l e " hero 38 at t h i s point that Hyllus f e e l s assured enough to j o i n sides with him. nyeus 6' oaou napeayev, eu T L XPH, Ttaxep, itpdaaeuv, xXuovxes e^uirnpexnaoyev (1155-1156). But we who are h e r e - - i f there i s anything, Father, we must do, we s h a l l l i s t e n and a s s i s t you to the utmost. 112 Whereas Heracles' former p h y s i c a l feats were deeds "outsized, extraordinary, prodigious," as he r e a l i z e s h i s impending death, he forces "outsized, extraordinary, prodigious" deeds on Hyllus with unreasonable 39 » » » v i o l e n c e . otct p eupycaat ("What have you done to me?" 1203), Hyllus says, to be met by Heracles' harsh words, buoua SpaaxE*' eaxC\> ("what must be done," 1204). I t again remains c l e a r that, despite a l l the fury and raging pseudo-heroism that Heracles f i n a l l y d i s p l a y s , he i s , i n e f f e c t , the actual culmination of the play and not the one e f f e c t i n g the play's culmination. Knox requires that the hero remain unchanged, i n defiance of time and i t s imperative of change. Heracles does change. When he understands the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the o r a c l e , he accepts h i s l i m i t i n time ( XPovy xcp C&vxi. xcu, nctpdvxu vuv,"at t h i s l i v i n g and present time" 1169) and accepts death. There i s no question that Heracles f u l f i l l s Knox' requirement that the hero be l o y a l only to h i s conception of himself;' s e l f - c e n t e r e d Heracles i s l o y a l to nothing e l s e . Knox' heroes j u s t i f y t h e i r p o s i t i o n s by t h e i r euyEveLa , xXeos , and euas$£ba . In j u s t i f y i n g h i s p o s i t i o n , Heracles comes very c l o s e , even for a demi-god, to what Knox r e f e r s to as an "assumption of d i v i n i t y . " In response to H y l l u s ' i n q u i r y ctXA' ex5u6ctxSo3 6r,xa 6uaaeBetv, TOXEP; "But have I learned impiety, Father?" 1245), he r e p l i e s , ou ouaaEpeua, xouybv E L xep^ets xeap " i t i s no impiety i f you give my heart pleasure," 1246). In h i s commands to Hyllus Heracles f u l f i l l s the following of Knox' heroic requirements: he i s driven by Supds and closed to the appeals of reason, he i s exasperated by the f e e l i n g that he i s being denied respect, h i s sense of what i s due to him from his son i s outraged, and he appeals for vengeance on Hyllus i f he remains disobedient. Because, however, Hyllus does obey i n the end, 113 Heracles i s released from the heroic f e e l i n g s mentioned above. He i s r e l i e v e d from the p o s s i b i l i t y of a f i n a l i s o l a t i o n , and he goes to h i s death neither pdvoc nor epnyos. Heracles does possess a strong sense of h i s i d e n t i t y , h i s i n d i v i d u a l and independent existence, h i s d i f f e r e n c e from others and h i s r e s u l t a n t uniqueness, and h i s own worth as an i n d i v i d u a l , a l l of which Knox c i t e s as t r a i t s of the hero. Heracles f a i l s to f u l f i l l these t r a i t s as required by Knox i n two s i g n i f i c a n t ways. F i r s t , he does not face a d e c i s i o n at a c r i t i c a l moment, which becomes a matter of choosing between defiance and los s of i d e n t i t y . Second, even with what seems to be h i s f i e r c e sense of independence, he does submit to being r u l e d ; he does not remain 41 f r e e , but i s a slave to h i s passions and h i s body. This apparent f a u l t i n Heracles' independence introduces the f i n a l point to be considered of Knox' model of the Sophoclean t r a g i c hero. According to Knox, the hero, having set h i s own conditions for existence, i s more prepared to leave l i f e than to change and w i l l assert h i s w i l l to the absolute end of defiance, death. The f i n a l r e s u l t of the hero's i s o l a t i o n from the world of men i s supposedly his wish for death; by choosing death, he ar r i v e s at the l o g i c a l end of h i s r e f u s a l to compromise. 42 Heracles does wish for death a f t e r he has been locked i n the grips of the anointed robe, because he cannot bear the phy s i c a l pain and disfigurement. He cannot choose death, because h i s death i s i n e v i t a b l e no matter what action he takes. In a way, he i s driven to h i s end by h i s r e f u s a l to compromise. His r e f u s a l to abandon his passions and to love only Deianeira has caused her to assert her w i l l , and her love and w i l l cause h i s death. L i v i n g i n human society i s one continuous compromise of subduing one's own w i l l and desires to the requirements . 11.4 of others. Heracles' death r e s u l t s from his lack of consideration for the requirements of others. Heracles o s c i l l a t e s between the two worlds of mythology and r e a l i t y , i n the former as the son of Zeus, accomplishing a l l by h i s might, i n the l a t t e r as a pathetic mortal with a pain-racked body. I t i s the l a t t e r Heracles who d i e s ; h i s apotheosis i s e n t i r e l y suppressed i n the Trachiniae. As H. A. Mason remarks, i t i s inconceivable that Sophocles could have given so many oracles prophesying Heracles' fate without h i n t of further meaning than death as the end of h i s labors without the understanding that 43 Heracles mythological sequel i s i r r e l e v a n t to the Trachiniae. Heracles i s the son of Zeus, but the "rest from labo r " Zeus promised him i s death and death alone. Knox believes that only the f a c t of death can make an action h e r o i c , and Heracles cannot be denied p o s i t i o n as the hero of the play on the ground that he does not meet a mortal death. R. C,. Jebb f e e l s that Heracles' death completes the Homeric conception of Heracles i n the play. "And this i s i n perfect harmony with the general tone of the Trachiniae. The s p i r i t i n which the legend of Heracles i s 44 treated i n t h i s play i s e s s e n t i a l l y the epic s p i r i t . " S l a t e r believes 45 that i n his moment of death he w i l l assert mastery over his l i f e . But Heracles does not a c t u a l l y meet his death within the l i m i t s of the play, and with i n the play he i s seen not as master, but servant. As BiggS comments, h i s might i s always at the service of someone or something beyond his c o n t r o l . Even i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of h i s heroism, the element of servitude i s stressed; his heroic e x p l o i t s are s e r v i c e . Zeus leaves Heracles no claim to d i g n i t y , not even the honor of the dec i s i o n of death. 115 I I I . Whitman Since Whitman's conception of the Sophoclean hero i s very i d e a l i z e d and the Heracles of the Trachiniae i s not, i t i s i n e v i t a b l e that Heracles 46 w i l l not conform well to h i s heroic model. This model requires that the behavior and w i l l of the t r a g i c hero represent the true a c t i o n of the play. As has been discussed previously, i t i s the behavior and w i l l o f Deianeira and not of Heracles that cause and represent the a c t i o n of the play. Heracles i s a slave to forces and i s not an independent agent. Therefore, h i s a c t i o n i n the play represents those f o r c e s , while Deianeira's action and acts of free w i l l i n c o n f l i c t with them represent the true a c t i o n of the play. Whitman's model requires that each t r a g i c hero be an example of arete and that the hero's encounters with d i s a s t e r s and t r i a l s r e s u l t from the c l a s h between h i s are te and the imperfections of other human beings, the t r a d i t i o n a l gods, and l i f e i t s e l f . Waith be l i e v e s i n Heracles' arete. "His s e l f absorption i s a concomitant of the p r i m i t i v e arete which makes o b l i g a t i o n s to others secondary to the hero's devotion 47 to h i s own i n t e g r i t y . " Waith also says of Heracles, "His i n j u r i e s to others and h i s infringements of society's moral codes are i n c i d e n t a l to 48 a career whose end i s an u n d i l u t e d tragedy for s o c i e t y . " However, the Trachiniae does not depict Heracles' death as a tragedy for s o c i e t y . The Heracles of the play i s the husband of Deianeira and h i s labors are mentioned i n an i n c i d e n t a l fashion as an i l l u s t r a t i o n of h i s strength and not as an i l l u s t r a t i o n of t r i a l s suffered for s o c i e t y . Whitman believes that the f i n a l p i c t u re of Heracles, with h i s abysmal s e l f i s h n e s s and furious ravings, i s consistent with the picture of a man consumed by disease. Heracles i s i n t e r e s t e d s o l e l y i n himself, unshaken by self-doubt or h e s i t a t i o n i n h i s passions. He i s not an example of arete, and the d i s a s t e r s and t r i a l s he 116 encounters during the play are a r e s u l t of the clash between h i s imperfections and the arete of other human beings (notably. Deianeira's), the t r a d i t i o n a l gods, and l i f e i t s e l f . According to Whitman, the indomitable w i l l of the s t r u g g l i n g hero, and not the conventional Olympian f i g u r e s , i s the source of true d i v i n i t y . Heracles lacks an indomitable w i l l , as i s c l e a r l y seen i n h i s womanly re a c t i o n to h i s s u f f e r i n g . His only d i v i n i t y i s as the son of Zeus, and he f e e l s a l i e n a t e d even from that during his s u f f e r i n g . I t does not seem l i k e l y that Heracles' f a u l t s of passion and b e s t i a l i t y , l i k e the f a u l t s of Whitman:'s heroic model, are r e a l l y signs of h i s p e r f e c t i o n that c o n f l i c t with the blindness and wrongness of l i f e about him. Heracles does not have the r e a l self-knowledge of Whitman's model and, although he at f i r s t appears to be a law unto himself, his d e s t r u c t i o n brings even that into question. Whitman's hero's stubbornness and s e l f - w i l l e d independence keep him from y i e l d i n g to h i s f a t e . Heracles y i e l d s i n s t a n t l y to h i s fate when he hears Nessus' name and recognizes the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the o r a c l e . His i s not a tragedy of " l a t e l e a r n i n g , " because, having learned, he never considers the p o s s i b i l i t y of having done anything d i f f e r e n t l y . Whitman's Sophoclean hero "seems to be less under the o b l i g a t i o n to 49 worship the gods than to f u l f i l l h i s duty to himself." Other than his pleasure, does Heracles have a duty to himself? IV. Webster Webster's s i x basic aspects of the Sophoclean hero, i n s o f a r as they have been accepted i n the model of the hero presented i n chapter one, are f u l f i l l e d only to a small extent by Heracles. According to Webster, the hero i s conscious of h i s b i r t h , and, as one who i s nobly born, conforms 117 to c e r t a i n standards of l i f e and ac t i o n . Heracles i s conscious of h i s sonship from Zeus; perhaps he f e e l s that as a demi-god he does not have to conform to standards of l i f e and action. Webster believes that the hero has a duty to be l o y a l to h i s parents and a r i g h t to expect l o y a l t y from hi s c h i l d r e n . Heracles i s not l o y a l to Zeus but demands l o y a l t y from hi s son H y l l u s . T h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between father and son, the fatherhood of Heracles and the fatherhood of Zeus, i s an i r o n i c one. Heracles i s unaware of the inherent inconsistency when he j u s t i f i e s the t e r r i b l e demands he makes of Hyllus to b u i l d the pyre and marry l o l e by appealing to the " f i n e s t of a l l laws, obedience to one's f a t h e r " (1177-1178, c f . 1244). Heracles threatens to disown H y l l u s , assuming that to be h i s son i s something of which to be proud (1204-1205). He betrays no trace of consideration for H y l l u s ' f e e l i n g s , only for his own; i t i s not an impiety to marry l o l e , ou 6uaaeBei'a, roupov E L r e p ^ e t s Heap ("It i s no impiety i f you give my heart pleasure" 1246). E a s t e r l i n g takes Heracles' demands of Hyllus "to be not so much a further indictment of Heracles for hubris, but proof i n action of the complete misjudgment that Heracles has made about l i f e ; j u s t as he came triumphantly to Cenaeum to s a c r i f i c e so now i t never occurs to him that lie has ever been other than an i d e a l s o n . " ^ Webster's second heroic aspect a t t r i b u t e s frankness, f o r t i t u d e , and sensitiveness to shame to the hero. Webster notes that Heracles takes no pains to hide, h i s mistress from h i s wife and that on the only occasion on which he used g u i l e against a foe (Iphitus) he paid h e a v i l y for i t . He i s ashamed of being k i l l e d by a woman (1062) and i t i s t h i s shame as well as j u s t i c e that enters i n t o Heracles' desire for vengeance. His shame, however, does not stop him from his womanly c r i e s , and he n e c e s s a r i l y i s further ashamed that h i s s u f f e r i n g s have broken down h i s f o r t i t u d e (1071)„ 118 He has f a l l e n short of h i s own i d e a l of heroism, and he f a i l s to s a t i s f y Webster's conception of the hero as one whose f o r t i t u d e cannot be broken by misfortunes. In accordance with another of Webster's aspects of the hero, Heracles i s not remarkable for h i s sophrosyne. He e x h i b i t s arrogance, v i o l e n c e , haste, i n f l e x i b i l i t y , and f o l l y and has a s t r a i n of c r u e l t y and v i o l e n c e . Heracles, however, f a i l s - t o f u l f i l l the l a s t of Webster's heroic aspects because h i s v i c e s are not c l o s e l y connected with the v i r t u e s of s p i r i t , energy, firmness, and idealism. Sophocles has taken the heroic figure of Heracles, accepted by c e r t a i n t r a d i t i o n a l standards as apuaTos ctv6ptov, 52 but has emphasized the u t t e r savagery and b r u t a l i t y of those standards. The son of Zeus i s not above human standards, but below them, as Murray's questions and answer about the Heracles who i s borne on stage while sleeping r e v e a l . "Is there r e a l l y some greatness, some generosity, behind the ravenous l u s t and fury which i s a l l that others have, seen i n him? Is there something i n the Son of Zeus, the dp LOTOS dvSpwv, which when we 53 come near i t we can recognize as divine? Quite the r e v e r s e . " Webster allows that the hero may f a l l short of standards, but that he himself i s u s u a l l y conscious of h i s shortcomings. Heracles, i n h i s s e l f - c e n t e r e d arrogance, i s never conscious of any of h i s shortcomings. There i s a s t r i k i n g contrast between the loudly s u f f e r i n g Heracles and the s i l e n t l y s u f f e r i n g Deianeira. The Heracles of t h i s play l i v e s i n a self-chosen world of physical competition, v i o l e n c e , and pain; he has no d i s c r i m i n a t i o n at the l e v e l of reason and j u s t i c e . He takes phy s i c a l revenge for p h y s i c a l pain on the nearest a v a i l a b l e object and summons Hyllus to help "even though you must die with me." Heracles' f e e l i n g s seem to stop at the outer surface of h i s own s k i n , making i t d i f f i c u l t for anyone to s u f f e r with him."'4 119 V. G e l l i e In G e l l i eV s judgment, the protagonist i s c a l l e d upon to deal with a ready-made state of e v i l . Whatever action he takes w i l l be wrong, but he acts and i s destroyed by h i s a c t i o n . Heracles i s not c a l l e d upon to deal with a ready-made state of e v i l . By sending l o l e home to supplant Deianeira, he creates a state of e v i l for h i s wife. He himself must deal 55 only with the r e s u l t of what Deianeira i s c a l l e d upon to deal with. At that p o i n t , there i s no choice of action open to him, and whatever he does cannot a l t e r the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of h i s death. In h i s chapter on the Trachiniae, G e l l i e makes some unwarranted and i n c o r r e c t comments about the action of the play. According to G e l l i e , there i s not much c e r t a i n t y of anything u n t i l Heracles comes on the scene. Heracles i s the only one who i s "where the action i s , " ~ ^ and h i s home i n Tr a c h i s has to depend on memories of long ago and reports from far away for information. The play has to work by remote c o n t r o l through reactions to actions and decisions taken at a distance. The mainspring of Deianeira a n x i e t i e s i s that she can never know anything for c e r t a i n . Heracles may be "where the a c t i o n i s , " but he i s not where the action of the play i s . The play does not. depend on actions and decisions taken at a distance, because the r e a l action of the play i s the act and the r e s u l t of Deianeira's d e c i s i o n s , e s p e c i a l l y her d e c i s i o n to use the love-p h i l t r e . G e l l i e himself l a t e r remarks that the r e a l action of the play 57 has i t s foundations i n Deianeira's heart. 120 VI. Kirkwood Heracles does not s a t i s f a c t o r i l y f u l f i l l Kirkwood's heroic requirements for the same basic reasons as have been discussed above. Heracles i s not responsible for "the l i f e - g i v i n g combination of strong character and 58 r e v e a l i n g s i t u a t i o n " that Kirkwood f e e l s i s at the heart of every Sophocle play. He does not undergo a s e r i e s of tests from which he emerges newly revealed and with added strength, but barges his way through the play at 59 the same unenlightened and b e s t i a l l e v e l . He i s not what one could e a s i l y c a l l an admirable character, and he i s not confronted with a c r i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n . Again, Heracles does not accept h i s own r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for h i s f a t e . Unlike Oedipus, whose acts were "not predestined, merely p r e d i c t e d , " Heracles, a f t e r understanding the meaning of the o r a c l e , accepts h i s death as predicted and predestined. There i s a q u a l i t y of b r u t a l i t y and capricious v i o l e n c e i n h i s reported deeds, his drunkenness (268), h i s murder of Iphitus (169-273) and the innocent Lichas (779-782), and h i s i n d i f f e r e n c e to h i s son's welfare i n demanding help for himself (797-798). This impression i s strengthened when Heracles appears, by h i s unbridled hatred of Deianeira and h i s boundless s e l f - p r a i s e and s e l f - p i t y . He i s both impressive and grotesque. Heracles possesses more than what Kirkwood r e f e r s to as the standard human equipment of emotions and f r a i l t i e s without even the standard of heroic and redeeming devotion to an i d e a l of conduct. His f a u l t s cannot be i n the c l o s e s t possible connection with h i s strength and n o b i l i t y , because he i s l a c k i n g i n a l l but p h y s i c a l strength. According to Kirkwood, " t r a g i c f a u l t i s not g u i l t , and t r a g i c s u f f e r i n g i s not punishment and the hero does not p r e c i p i t a t e h i s own s u f f e r i n g . I f Heracles has a 121 t r a g i c f a u l t , i t i s h i s i n a b i l i t y to r i s e above h i s b e s t i a l nature. His s u f f e r i n g as a r e s u l t of t h i s f a u l t appears i n many ways to be a punishment, even though Heracles does not recognize i t as such. Kirkwood's Sophoclean t r a g i c hero endures his s u f f e r i n g and r i s e s to the stature of a moral hero. Heracles does not endure h i s s u f f e r i n g at a l l u n t i l he recognizes the t r u t h of the o r a c l e . During h i s s u f f e r i n g h i s self-centeredness and b e s t i a l nature are at t h e i r most obvious. According to Kirkwood, the greatness of the hero's devotion to n o b i l i t y shows that i n heroism there e x i s t s an enduring value that stands f i r m in. spite of s u f f e r i n g and death, which i s made c l e a r by Sophocles' way of c o n t r a s t i n g the heroic with the unheroic. Heracles' only form of heroism l i e s i n h i s p h y s i c a l strength, which does not endure. (5 x^pes x £P eS } / 5 vtoxcx x a l axepv', w cptAou gpax^oves, / upets exeuvot &r\ xaSearaQ' "0 my hands, my hands, 0 my back and chest, 0 my poor arms, you that are i n such a s t a t e " 1089-1091). In f a c t , Heracles i s the unheroic with which Deianeira i s contrasted. VII. Lesky According to Lesky, when great t r a g i c figures take up t h e i r f i g h t , t h e i r concern i s human d i g n i t y , not mere existence. For what human di g n i t y does Heracles f i g h t ? And, what i s he more concerned about than h i s own s e l f - c e n t e r e d existence? Heracles k i l l s the innocent Lichas, boasts of being the.savior of H e l l a s , yearns to take vengeance on Deianeira, and d i s t o r t s the meaning of h i s labors to the extent of seeing Deianeira as one of the monsters he slew (1110-1111). Sophocles has turned the Heracles of the usual legen who d i d miraculous deeds and thus became the benefactor of mankind into 122 almost the opposite, "a man who follows h i s own nature and desires without restraint., commits outrageous misdeeds, and thus becomes a danger and a menace to other p e o p l e . " ^ The overwhelming force of the e n t i r e l y s e l f - c e n t e r e d Heracles who i s unable "to give himself" to anyone e l s e (cf. 1117) and i s " e n t i r e l y l a c k i n g i n self-knowledge and therefore unable 62 to r e a l i s e that he has brought misery upon himself" i s most manifest during h i s f i n a l commands to H y l l u s . Heracles w i l l meet h i s death without having £isen above his own nature; h i s death w i l l mark the end of h i s l i f e and h i s s u f f e r i n g s , but nothing more. I t i s Deianeira whose l i f e and death have a purpose i n the play. Heracles could hardly be considered the hero of h i s scene, l e t alone 63 the hero of the e n t i r e play. Deianeira e x i s t s because of and f i n d s her i d e n t i t y i n Heracles, but i n the play's structure Heracles e x i s t s because of Deianeira. Heracles does not s a t i s f y many of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ascribed to other Sophoclean heroes, and he does not emerge w i t h i n the play as a free i n d i v i d u a l whose acts of w i l l determine the course of the play's events. Heracles i s not the hero of the Trachiniae. 123 NOTES -- CHAPTER THREE Heracles does not speak u n t i l l i n e 983. 2 Kamerbeek, 25. 3 Although c f . S l a t e r (59, also 62), who believes Deianeira's body i s v i s i b l e during the f i n a l scene. "The telos of her tragedy i s revealed v i s u a l l y , the arkhe evoked by the words." 4 Kamerbeek, 26. Kamerbeek, 26. ^ Cf. S l a t e r , 63. Deianeira, on the contrary, sets her w i l l against the anguish and pain that Heracles has caused her by sending Iole to her. She walks away i n s i l e n c e from H y l l u s ' p a i n f u l words, hides her lamentations i n proud seclusion and dispatches h e r s e l f with courage. 7 Jebb, x x x v i i , g Jebb, x x x v i i i . 9 Jebb, x x x v i i i . ^ Penelope Biggs, "The Disease Theme i n Sophocles' Ajax, P h i l o c t e t e s , and Tr a c h i n i a e , " CPh 61 (1966) 228. tooT G L T I T<Ly^ T' dv6pl Trj6e T 13 vdow Ari<P$eVTL~ yeynxdc eCyu, xdpTct y a t v o y a t (4M-5-446). . 124 HOUTOb vdaov y*' eTtanrbv e£apouy£§a , Seotau 6uayctxouvxes (491-492) kyli 6e SuyouaSau yev oux enuaTayat voaouvtc xetv(j) itoXXa T?i6e xrj vdaa> (543-544). And, b e l y i n g Lichas (235), Heracles does not return "unburdened by disease." 12 P. E. E a s t e r l i n g , "Sophocles, T r a c h i n i a e , " BICS15 (1968) 62. Perhaps the point of the s t r e s s on slavery i s " to make us wonder i f Heracles the enslaver was not a f t e r a l l a slave himself" ( E a s t e r l i n g , 61). 1 3 Biggs, 230. 1 4 Instead of for H y l l u s . Cf. H. D. F. K i t t o , Poiesis Structure and Thought, Sather C l a s s i c a l Lectures Vol. 36 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1966) 170. 1 5 K i t t o , P o i e s i s , 166. 1 6 Waldock, 86. l i H. A. Mason, "The Women of Trachis (Part II)," Arion 2 (1963 114. 18 This c i t a t i o n reveals Heracles notion of how he i s considered by others. Kamerbeek's note on the two l i n e s i s : "In my opinion the aor. p a r t i e . |^av)5nSe\,sJ, c o n t r a s t i n g with the p e r f . p a r t i e . wvoyaayevos , suggests how estranged he f e e l s from his sonship to Zeus" (228-229). The reputation he wants to maintain for himself i s that of h i s physical strength, as i s evident i n the f o l l o w i n g l i n e s : cxXX* ei5 ye TOL T6*6' 'Care, xav TO yn6ev 5 xSv yn6ev epuu), rnv YE 6pdactactv rdde Xecptoaoycto xax TWV6E. npoaydXoi, ydvov, LV' EK6b6axSp rcaauv ayycXXe^v 5TL xtx! £Sv xaxous ye xa! Savoiv £Tet,aapnv (1107-1111)^ 1 9 Waldock, 85. 20 I r o n i c a l l y , these slave women, who are representative of h i s pr o s p e r i t y and hope for happiness, lead to h i s f i n a l destruction.-2 ^ atpctXXw i n the passive means "to f a i l , be tripped up; to be deceived." Heracles i s both tripped up and deceived. 2 2 Poetics 1453b. 23 Heracles does not even have the honor of the d e c i s i o n of his own death. 2 4 Waldock, 88. I t seems, however, that Deianeira does apply, or at l e a s t t r i e s to apply, human-defining terms to Heracles. 2 6 V i c t o r Ehrenberg, "Tragic Heracles," DUJ 4 (1.943) 53. 2 7 E. M. Waith, The Herculean Hero (London, 1962) 24. i d E a s t e r l i n g , 66. A l b e i t , Heracles i s s u f f e r i n g i n the extremes of pain. 2 9 K i t t o , Greek Tragedy, 294. on Heracles i s o l a t e s himself from the past to a small and s e l e c t i v e extent by r e f u s i n g to be guided by what he must know of Deianeira's l o v i n g actions of the past. He refuses to understand H y l l u s ' v i n d i c a t i o n of Deianeira, and j u s t i f i e s the r e f u s a l by h i s disease (1120-1121). 31 Heracles cannot destroy h i s s u f f e r i n g ' s r e a l source, but must depend on others to b u i l d and l i g h t the pyre. Perhaps because he i s incapable of f i n d i n g purpose or meaning i n his s u f f e r i n g . 33 A p o s i t i o n he holds e i t h e r by r i g h t of h i s status as a demi-god or as a r e s u l t of h i s own defiance of human l i m i t a t i o n s . Since i n the play he i s not granted p r i v i l e g e s as the son of Zeus other than the epithe t i t s e l f , perhaps the l a t t e r i s the more l i k e l y circumstance. Nevertheless, i t i s worth n o t i n g that Heracles does see himself as c l e a r l y the son of Zeus. Heracles was, a f t e r a l l , the one who slew Nessus. 35 E a s t e r l i n g , 61. Two points may be made here. F i r s t , as has already been mentioned, one ought perhaps to be surprised that Heracles sees f i t to s a c r i f i c e to Zeus as though his behavior i n sacking Oechalia has been what Zeus would d e s i r e . Second, Heracles has been behaving as i f Zeus was h i s champion i n sacking the c i t y , although i t was a c t u a l l y Eros ( 3 5 4 - 3 5 5 ) . Heracles, bewitched by his passions, wanted a H p u c p u o v Xexoc. ^ In h i s f i n a l speech Heracles addresses h i s soul with a word c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y used to describe Sophoclean heroes, 5 4>uxn an\r)pd (1260)» 37 One almost f e e l s that Heracles does not want to hear of Deianeira because he lacks c o n v i c t i o n for and a sense of rightness about what he has resolved to do. He does not refuse to l i s t e n because h i s mind has been i r r e v o c a b l y made up, but because i t has not. He does not want the disturbance of having a c t u a l l y to think about something his rage and passion have decided for him. oo This union with Hyllus i s evidence against Heracles i s o l a t i o n . 39 According to Kamerbeek (243) t h i s unreasonable violence i s reminiscent of Oedipus', Ajax', and Creon's and displays a c e r t a i n aspect of the t y p i c a l l y Sophoclean hero. 40 Perhaps, though, he sees h i s death as a release from time and i t s imperatives of change? 4 ^ I t might be s a i d that Heracles remains independent i n g i v i n g free r e i n to h i s passions and by r e f u s i n g to be held back by Deianeira or the opinion of others; but i s i t r e a l l y freedom to be driven to destroy an e n t i r e c i t y for the sake of passion? Also, Heracles' lack of s e l f -r e s t r a i n t i n h i s s e l f - p i t y and s u f f e r i n g of h i s physical pain c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e that he i s a slave to h i s body. 42 He never considers k i l l i n g himself. 4 3 Mason, 119. 4 4 J e b b , xxxv. Webster believes that to Deianeira and Hyllus Heracles i s the "best of a l l men" i n the Homeric sense; he i s a champion, mighty warrior, and ha a s e n s i t i v e honor l i k e Ajax. 4 5 S l a t e r , 64. 4 ^ A l s o , i n forming h i s model, Whitman has considered Deianeira to be the hero of the T r a c h i n i a e . ^ 7 Waith, 24. 4 8 Waith, 26. 49 H y Whitman, 40. 128 Also, Heracles i s not l o y a l to h i s wife, but demands l o y a l t y from her. A f t e r the news about Nessus' poison (1142), Heracles seizes on the mention of Nessus and forgets Deianeira. His nature i s i n f l e x i b l e , and he i s f i l l e d with resentment at h i s s u f f e r i n g s . Webster believes that I o l e has taken the place of Deianeira i n Heracles' a f f e c t i o n s and that, even i f Deianeira were a l i v e , he would never have forgiven her. E a s t e r l i n g , 67. 52 And he "has shown us the whole miserable story through the eyes of one woman, and presumably the one who s u f f e r e d most" (Murray, "Heracles, 'The Best of Men'," Greek Studies (Oxford, 1946) 113). 5 3 Murray, 120. Richmond Lattimore, Story Patterns i n Greek Tragedy (Ann Arbor, 1964) 60 writes : "This Heracles i s c a l l e d by the persons of the play i n a l l s i n c e r i t y 'the greatest of men'....But the greatness and good achievements of Heracles are 'given'; they are what 'everybody knows'; and the person comes out barely s u f f i c i e n t and c r e d i b l e as the hero who commanded the love of Deianeira and the a f f e c t i o n of H y l l u s . " 54 Cf. G e l l i e , 68. 55 Heracles i s not even aware of the d i f f i c u l t d e cision with which Deianeira had to wrestle. He i s not i n t e r e s t e d i n her i n t e n t i o n s , only i n her act. 5 6 Cf. G e l l i e , 56. 5 7 Cf. G e l l i e , 61. Kirkwood, 11. 59 Kirkwood (118) remarks that Heracles i s part of the mighty sweep of events by which Deianeira i s overwhelmed. 6 0 Kirkwood, 176. ^ Ehrenberg, 56. 62 Ehrenberg, 57. ^ I t i s Whitman's view that h i s long f i n a l scene i s one of planned c r u e l t y , presented i n order that Deianeira, who i s alone throughout, may s t i l l remain alone and unloved. I3J dots nof- ay/rt 130 CHAPTER FOUR CONCLUSION: DEIANEIRA THE TRACHINIAN The Deianeira of Sophocles' Trachiniae has been c a l l e d "perhaps one of the greatest characters i n a l l of ancient literature"'''; and to the extent that she i s great, i t i s both i n s p i t e of and because of Heracles. Heracles acts both as a fo r c e , which thrusts Deianeira i n t o her p o s i t i o n as hero, and as a t o o l of her heroic a c t i o n . It has been said of Heracles that, even " i f he i s not i n the ordinary sense of the word a sympathetic character, he i n s p i r e s i n the other characters extraordinary love and 2 l o y a l t y , and becomes almost an object of veneration," and that "Heracles i s e s t a b l i s h e d f o r us as a man of men, a man who, whatever h i s f a i l i n g s , 3 has q u a l i t i e s that can command i n f i n i t e devotion from a woman." Each statement t o t a l l y v i o l a t e s the s p i r i t of the play. Heracles i s not "an object of veneration," and he does not a c t i v e l y "command i n f i n i t e devotion from a woman." It i s Deianeira and her love that play the a c t i v e and l i v i n g r o l e s i n the play. Heracles i s not characterized or made noble and heroic by Deianeira's love. His sphere, which i s monstrous, v i o l e n t , and d e s t r u c t i v e , i s one apart from her human, l o v i n g , and c r e a t i v e sphere, although she does use an instrument of h i s sphere i n her ultimate attempt to recover h i s love. In contrast to Heracles, Deianeira i s made noble and heroic i n her own love, because i n her i n f i n i t e warmth of heart she i s able to love a creature so undeserving of her love. Heracles does not appear, i n the t o t a l t e r r o r of h i s self-ce n t e r e d existence, u n t i l Deianeira has k i l l e d h e r s e l f f o r love of him, and then the f u l l tragedy of her love LEAF 131 OMITTED IN PAGE NUMBERING. 132 and death i s r e a l i z e d . M u s u r i l l o comes close to understanding the s i g n i f i c a n c e of Deianeira's t r a g i c r o l e i n the course of h i s di s c u s s i o n of why i t i s i n c o r r e c t to c a l l the Trachiniae a diptych play. "Heracles i s present a l l through the f i r s t p a rt, j u s t as Deianeira i s present, i n the innocent d e s t r u c t i o n she has wrought, a l l throughout the f i n a l part. The f a c t that l i t t l e i s s a i d of her t r a g i c end i n the scene between Hyllus and h i s father brings out a p e c u l i a r , unfeeling facet of Heracles' character; but i t a l s o underlines the poignant, wasteful q u a l i t y of her s u i c i d e . " ^ Her su i c i d e i s wasteful because i t i s committed as a r e s u l t of her love f o r one who i s unworthy of and uninterested i n that love. Heracles' disregard f o r Deianeira, h i s b r u t a l i t y and complete s e l f i s h n e s s , are i n stark contrast to her devotion to him, her gentleness and generosity. His extreme self-centeredness withdraws him from the p o s s i b i l i t y of being a t r u l y t r a g i c or heroic f i g u r e . Throughout the play he i s present only as a force and never as an independent agent. By h i s thoughtlessness and f a i l u r e to consider the f e e l i n g s of others i n sending I o l e home to supplant Deianeira, he drives Deianeira to a c t i o n and then becomes the t o o l of that a c t i o n . He i s not an independent agent, but i s held by disease and slavery, Hyllus r e l a t e s that Heracles was i n se r v i c e to a Lydian woman (70). Lichas repeats the Omphale-story, saying that Heracles was own k\ev§epoQ (not f r e e , 248) and t e l l s how Heracles treacherously threw Iphitus o f f a c l i f f because he c a l l e d him a f r e e man's slave (6ouXos avSpbs tos eAeudepou, 267). He i s not: r e a l l y the enslaver of Iol e , but i s himself enslaved by her. His enslavement by I o l e and Eros (441, 443) i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to h i s s u f f e r i n g from disease (COOT* E L TL, TWUSJ T' dv5pL Tfl6e TT) vdau / XncpdEVTL peunTos E L U L , xapTa UCXLVOUCXL, " I should be altogether mad to throw blame upon my 133 husband, because he s u f f e r s from t h i s sickness" 4 4 5 - 4 4 6 ) . When Heracles f i n a l l y appears i n person i n the play, the d e s t r u c t i v e power of various forces have made him what he i s . M u s u r i l l o submits that the d e s t r u c t i v e power's e f f e c t must be seen and f e l t i n the "racked and feeble body of the once majestic hero." Heracles may have once been majestic, but not once during the play i s he presented as majestic. There i s no hopeful contrast between a s i c k and healthy Heracles; he i s seen only 7 » i n h i s death throes. The Heracles of the Trachiniae, u n l i k e the c t p u a t o s dv6pyv of conventional t r a d i t i o n , i s "something monstrous, something which g cannot be c a l l e d 'good'." T. F. Hoey b e l i e v e s that the Trachiniae i s the tragedy of the House 9 of Heracles. The two e s s e n t i a l parts of the house are Deianeira and Heracles, who are a l s o , according to Hoey, the two protagonists of the play. They f a i l to achieve union; the action of the play f a i l s , as he puts i t , " t o achieve home."*^ Thus, the house i t s e l f never comes together, and t h i s broken house i s the chief image of the play. "The play i s about d i s u n i t y . " * * In Hoey's view, Deianeira i s at home i n a p h y s i c a l sense, but i s displaced i n her soul and therefore i s as much a wanderer as Heracles i s . Her journeys, l i k e Oedipus', tend along the wandering ways of thought. As the Nurse says, her f i n a l journey i s achieved without her moving a foot. Deianeira's departure, except f o r the t r a n s i t i o n a l s e c t i o n (863-970), coincides with the a r r i v a l of Heracles. The two heroes f a i l to f i n d each other. Hoey's view i s an i n t e r e s t i n g one, but contains a major flaw. If the play i s about the f a i l u r e "to achieve home," Deianeira alone can be 12 the hero. The tragedy of a broken house i s a tragedy only f o r her. Heracles never has a house or desire f o r home. The only time he wants to be with Deianeira i s when he wants to k i l l her. He regrets her death 134 only because he was not able to cause i t . A broken house i s no tragedy f o r him. Heracles' appearance at the end of the play consummates the tragedy of Deianeira. Heracles' complete lack of i n t e r e s t i n her death and innocence, and the dramatic i l l u s t r a t i o n of h i s character, are the culmination 13 of her t r a g i c l i f e . One looks at Heracles for what he i s , what the object of Deianeira's great love r e a l l y i s , and there one sees the tragedy. Kamerbeek makes the following attempt to sum up the play: a r u t h l e s s , superhuman hero's predestined f a t e i s brought about by the very ruthlessness of h i s d i s l o y a l t y towards h i s wife; h i s wife t r y i n g to win back h i s love by magic i s the involuntary cause of h i s r u i n and her own. Not even the son of Zeus can escape from the w i l l of the gods but has to bow before the inevitable. 6ct£pu>v of h i s being. Dangerous and incongruous i s an ordinary mortal's union with a superhuman demigod.* 4 Kamerbeek has summarized the tragedy of Dianeira through the character of Heracles, and only h i s l a s t sentence comes c l o s e , t o c o r r e c t i n g that i n v e r s i o n . It i s Deianeira's a c t i o n that sets the play i n motion; i t i s Deianeira who learns, and i t i s Deianeira who accepts r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . (Jjv eya) peSuoxepov, / OT' O U X E T ' ctpHe'C, TT\V pdSnauv apvupau ("But I have come to understand l a t e r , now when i t i s of no use" 710-711). These words of Deianeira sum up her t r a g i c s i t u a t i o n of l a t e l earning. However, even i n her p r i o r naivete, she was never so ignorant as Heracles remains to the end. According to Kamerbeek, h i s speech beginning at l i n e 1.046 develops i n t o a demonstration of smitten greatness and a l s o demonstrates 135 the ignorance of man as the true cause of h i s f a t e . Heracles' craving f o r revenge, which i s . u t t e r e d again at the end of h i s speech, i s due to f a l s e assumptions. He d i s p l a y s no h i n t of any former greatness, nor does he recognize that h i s ignorance has caused h i s f a t e . He never considers himself responsible f o r any of h i s s u f f e r i n g s , and, s t r i k i n g l y , i s not considered by others to be capable of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Lichas t a c i t l y seems to agree that Eurytus was responsible f o r Heracles' year of s e r v i c e to Omphale. xdv6e yap uexaLxtov / udvov gpoxuiv ecpaaxe xou6' efvai, uddous ("who alone of mortals shared the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , he claimed, f o r what he had suffer e d . " 2 6 0 - 2 6 1 ) . E r o s , not Heracles, i s responsible f o r the f a c t that Heracles sends I o l e home.''"^  A f t e r the catastrophes of the play have taken t h e i r course, Hyllus does not l a y any blame d i r e c t l y on Heracles, but f i n d s I o l e to be uexauxios . f'i uo*l unxpi, uev %avcZv udvn / uexatxtos, aoi, 6' audus i s ex e^S exei.'V("she alone shares the blame f o r my mother's death and your c o n d i t i o n " 1233-1234). The T r a c h i n i a e i s the only one of Sophocles' seven extant plays that i s not named f o r the play's hero; instead, i t takes i t s t i t l e from the Chorus."""7 An examination of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Deianeira and the Tr a c h i n i a n maidens w i l l strengthen, i n my view, the b e l i e f that Deianeira i s the hero of the Trachinae. A key passage to an understanding of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Deianeira and the Chorus occurs between l i n e s 200 and 224, where De i a n e i r a becomes i n e f f e c t the X°Pnyo's . She rouses the Chorus to a p i t c h of r e j o i c i n g and c e l e b r a t i o n cpcovnaaT' , to yuvauMes, a" x' sCato axeyns / a i x* exxos auAns ("Cry out, 0 you women who are within the house and you who are without" 202-203). And having l e d the Chorus to t h e i r outburst of joy, she r e j o i n s i t , i n character as w e l l as speech, 136 b p s , cptActt yuvcttxes, ou6e p' oppaxos (ppoupav TiapnASe, xdv6e pn Aedaaetv axdAov Xatpetv °£ T O V Kn'puxa T t p o u v v e i t w , xpdvtj) iioAAijJ cpavevxa, x aPTov Et T U xa! cpepetg (225-228). I do see the procession that comes nearer, dear women. The s i g h t d i d not s l i p past the guard of my eyes. I proclaim our welcome to the herald, appearing a f t e r a long t i m e — i f the news he brings i s gladdening. During the parodos (94-140), the Chorus re p l y to Deianeira's opening speech, notably echoing, on an o p t i m i s t i c note, her mention of the tragic-day theme. &AA' ent nnpa xa! x a P a / uaat xuxAouatv, oZov a p - / xxou axpocpa*6es xeAeoSot ("But g r i e f and joy came c i r c l i n g to a l l l i k e the turning tracks of the Bear" 129-130). They t e l l her to have good hope, since no e v i l l a s t s and since Zeus i s not thoughtless of h i s c h i l d r e n . They provide the c h e e r f u l converse o f Deianeira's "count no man happy t i l l he dies-,-" implying the sentiment "count n o man miserable while he l i v e s . " They resume the themes introduced by Deianeira i n the prologue. A f t e r appealing to the Sun to t e l l where Heracles i s , they expressly think of Deianeira's a n x i e t i e s . Deianeira's d e s c r i p t i o n of her l o n e l y , s l e e p l e s s nights i s r e c a l l e d by the Chorus's mention of the Sun being brought f o r t h and put to sleep (xaxeuvdcetv ) by gleaming night (945), by t h e i r comparison of her to a p a t h e t i c b i r d who cannot put to sleep (euvdcetv ) the udSos of her eyes (105ff.), and by a c t u a l mention of her being worn out "on her troubled, husbandless bed" (109-110). However, the Chorus 1 attempt to cheer Deianeira i s inadequate. Deianeira's f i r s t speech has already i l l u s t r a t e d that she has good reason to be anxious, and t h e i r words are reminders of her l o n e l y anxiety. Deianeira meets t h e i r gentle reproval of her p e s s i m i s t i c outlook (<5v 137 eutueucpouevct a' at- / 6oZa yev, dvxux 6' ouaco "Therefore, reproving you r e s p e c t f u l l y , I s h a l l advance an opposing view" 122-123) with a speech that introduces the Trachinian maidens to the play. itercuayevri yev , cos d u e L J t d a a u , u d p e i itctdnya xouyd"v cos 6' eyco SuyocpdopLo ynx* eMyddoLS itadouaa, vuv 6' aitei-pos EZ (141-143). You are here, I suppose, because you have heard of my s u f f e r i n g . May you never l e a r n by your own s u f f e r i n g how I break my heart. You are now without experience. They are, as D. Weiider char a c t e r i z e s them, "Appealing, sympathetic, inexperienced, f o o l i s h v i r g i n s . " " ^ They may be on equal footing with 19 Deianeira , but t h e i r innocence and inexperience places Deianeira i n the n a t u r a l p o s i t i o n as t h e i r leader. Deianeira's experience allows her to judge b e t t e r than a chorus of unmarried g i r l s . She draws an elaborate contrast between itapSevos and yuvn (144-150), which represents the d i s t i n c t i o n between h e r s e l f and the Chorus. The Chorus are itapSevou who are to be educated by the play and to serve as i t s background. A clos e and sympathetic r e l a t i o n s h i p develops between Deianeira and the Chorus. Hearing of Heracles' imminent return, the Chorus point out to Deianeira that she has good reason for joy (291-292). Deianeira agrees that she has good reason to r e j o i c e , although she fears a r e v e r s a l of success when she sees the poor prisoners, who were once f r e e , now enslaved (293-305). The Chorus' words here and at l i n e s 383-384 express thoughts that are i n agreement with Deianeira's f e e l i n g s and perhaps represent expressions of her own unspoken thoughts. She does see h e r s e l f as separate from others and l i n k e d with the Chorus, ndxepov exeovous 6nxa 6eup* auSus TOALV / naXcoyev, Y| 'you xaua6e x' e^euiteLV OeXets; ("Should 138 we c a l l the others back again, or do you wish to speak only to me and to my f r i e n d s here?" 342-343). A mutual dependence develops between Deianeira and the Chorus. A f t e r hearing the Messenger's story about l o l e , Deianeira asks the Chorus what she should do and t e l l s them that t h e i r advice i s not unreasonable (oux duo yvoSpriS 389). - They support Deianeira, i n her attempt to get the t r u t h from Lichas, and order him to obey her (470-471). 2 0 During the f i r s t stasimon (497-530), the Chorus echo Deianeira's opening speech and i n doing so become almost an a l t e r ego for Deianeira. It i s almost as i f Deianeira i s looking at her experiences from the point of view of a t h i r d person and r e l a t i n g them again. Certainly,: there i s a kinship between the present p o s i t i o n of the Trachinian maidens and the young maiden Deianeira. In her i n d e c i s i o n about using the l o v e - p h i l t r e , Deianeira i s forced to maintain her p o s i t i o n of leadership with the Chorus because of t h e i r unwillingness to commit themselves i n giving advice. cpcXxpoLs 6 ' eetv uws xrivS' unEpgaX^yeSa xriv net u6ct nai deXxxpouoL xous eip' 'HpctxAsu (584-585). But i f somehow by these claims, these s p e l l s used on Heracles, we can surpass the g i r l . . . . Both Deianeira and the Chorus to a c e r t a i n extent are involved i n the act i o n , but i t i s Deianeira who takes the i n i t i a t i v e and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y (et T L pn 6oxw / npdaoetv paxotuov ei 6e pri, uEnauaopai, "unless I seem to be act i n g rashly. I f so, I s h a l l stop" 586-587). Again, the words of the Chorus (588-589; 592-593) could e a s i l y represent Deianeira's own thoughts; she could be questioning her own conscience. Having heard from Hyllus the e f f e c t of Nessus' l o v e - p h i l t r e on Heracles, the Chorus react i n a fashion true to t h e i r leader, the hero 139 of the play. They lament Heracles' s u f f e r i n g , because h i s s u f f e r i n g and death are and w i l l be t r a g i c f o r Deianeira. Throughout the play, they, as w e l l as Deianeira, l a c k husbands. Being maidens they cannot experience Deianeira's s u f f e r i n g , but they can understand her tragedy. They r e a l i z e 21 the extent of her tragedy s t i l l more f u l l y when t o l d of her death. Following the Nurse's report of the manner of Deianeira's death, the Chorus do not know which d i s a s t e r to lament f i r s t , Deianeira's or Heracles', nor which d i s a s t e r i s the more f i n a l ( udxepoc up'otepov eitLaxevco,/ ndrepa reXea nepatxepd) , "which do I lament f i r s t ? which i s the more f i n a l d i s a s t e r ? " 947-948). Both d i s a s t e r s are part of the tragedy of t h e i r leader, Deianeira. Heracles was loved by Deianeira and therefore they mourn him, but they also fear the sight of him i n h i s s u f f e r i n g (Un xapBccAscx Savouuu. , "That I may not die of f r i g h t " 957). He was not and i s not t h e i r hero, and they see him only through the eyes of Deianeira. They speak only four l i n e s during Heracles' portion of the play. They shudder at h i s misfortunes (1044-1045), which have driven him to want to k i l l Deianeira. And, a f t e r another statement of h i s desperate d e s i r e to punish Deianeira, they make an ambiguous remark about the great mourning Hell a s w i l l endure i f she loses Heracles (1112-1113). When Deianeira i s s t i l l present, the Trachiniae are a l i n k between 22 the young Deianeira and the old Deianeira. They are the confidantes of her innermost f e e l i n g s , the extension of her emotions and v i s i o n s of the past, and i n t h e i r d e s c r i p t i o n of the wrestling contest they o f f e r prophetic hindsight. When Heracles enters, they serve as a l i n k with the e a r l i e r scenes of the play. In a sense, the young g i r l s of the chorus stand f o r the Deianeira 2 that used to be, "echoing her longings, her enthusiasms, and t r e p i d a t i o n s . " In a sense, the whole drama i s a lesson f o r them of what to expect from 140 marriage and l i f e . They are f u l l of hope, good ideas, and t r u s t i n the gods. They think l i f e i s c y c l i c a l , and Deianeira's fortunes w i l l improve. They think Zeus takes care of h i s own. They think there i s no harm i n t r y i n g p o s i t i v e a c t i o n (the l o v e - p h i l t r e ) to improve one's s i t u a t i o n . They are wrong on every count. They are r i g h t i n the midst of Deianeira's tragedy without a c t u a l l y being a part of i t or bearing r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r i t . The s i m i l a r i t y , however, of t h e i r status to that of the maiden Deianeira's points to them as a u n i v e r s a l i z i n g force of the play. The Trachiniae u n i v e r s a l i z e the very personal l i f e of Deianeira, the hero of the Trachiniae. 141 NOTES -- CHAPTER FOUR M u s u r i l l o , 382. Waith, 26. Waldock, 84. M u s u r i l l o , 374. Both Deianeira and Heracles apostrophize what i s dearest to them. In her f i n a l words Deianeira addresses her l i f e with Heracles, her bed and b r i d a l chamber (290). Heracles addresses h i s p h y s i c a l a t t r i b u t e s , h i s hands, back, breast, and arms (1089-1090). M u s u r i l l o , 374. Cf. Biggs, 227. Murray, 125. Murray believes that paracharaxis i s at work on the Heracles of the Trachiniae and that Sophocles' change i s nearer the o r i g i n a l than the Heracles of the 'Suidas', i n which the p r i m i t i v e strong man i s turned i n t o a S t o i c s a i n t . "Sophocles studies the saga, t e s t s i t , and finds i t e v i l , and shows how the f a l s e i d e a l which i t represents r e a l l y works i n human l i f e " (Murray, 125). Thomas F. Hoey, Presentational Imagery i n the Trachiniae of Sophocles, resume i n HSCP 68 (1964) 417-419. Thomas F. Hoey, "The Trachiniae and the Unity of Hero," Arethusa 3 (1970) 1-22. 142 10 Hoey, Presentational Imagery, 417. 1 1 Hoey, "The Unity of the Hero," 19. 12 Deianeira t r i e s not to admit that her home i s broken; i n f a c t , she does not admit i t u n t i l she decides to use the l o v e - p h i l t r e . She cannot l i v e i n a broken house. She has woven her fate so completely i n t o Heracles' that the oracle concerning Heracles' happiness also applies to her own (r) ouxopeoS* ctpct; 85). 13 Contra H. D. F. K i t t o , Greek Tragedy: A L i t e r a r y Study (London, 1939) 292. K i t t o b e l i e v e s that Heracles i s not brought i n to consummate the tragedy of Deianeira; she disappears. He considers that Heracles' complete lack of i n t e r e s t i n Deianeira's death and innocence i s the culmination of her t r a g i c l i f e , but more immediately i s an i l l u s t r a t i o n of what Heracles i s . I f e e l that the culmination of her tragedy i s the i l l u s t r a t i o n of what Heracles i s . 1 4 Kamerbeek, 26. Zeus was ctbxuos; Eurytus alone o f mortals was pexc*uxi,os. I t can be i n f e r r e d that l o l e i s pexauxi-os, although she i s g u i l t y o f nothing shameful, r] xrj5e xr\ yuvauxL, xrj pexctuxux / xou pn6ev a t a x p o u pn6* epo! xaxou xuvos ( 4 l + 7 - 4 4 8 ) . 1 7 Kirkwood ("The Dramatic Role of the Chorus i n Sophocles," Phoenix 8 (1954) 7) claims that i t has never been suggested that any Sophoclean chorus i s the protagonist of i t s play. S. M. Adams, however, does speculate that "the drama may be named for the women of the chorus because i t i s they who r e a l l y make the f a t a l d e c i s i o n " (S. M. Adams, Sophocles the 143 Playwright (Toronto, 1957) 110). I disagree; the Chorus do not make the f a t a l d e c i s i o n and, i n f a c t , do not give Deianeira any p o s i t i v e encouragement. 18 Wender, 6. Their youth and v i r g i n i t y are ref e r r e d - t o i n l i n e s 143, 211, 821, 871, and 1275. * 9 Herbert Pierrepont Houghton ("Deianeira i n the Trachiniae of Sophocles," P a l l a s 2 (1964) 88) notes that the Chorus address Deianeira as avacroa ( (136, 291) and not as SeOTtouva, the form of address that i s used by the Nurse. Of) By obeying Deianeira, he w i l l gain t h e i r thanks. Tuudou Aeyouan. xP r i ° T C * » * o u M ^ V ^ n X P 0 ^ Y u v a u x t T"r)5e, nan' epou xi'ifon x^puv ( 4 7 0 - 4 7 1 ) . 2^ Their discovery of Deianeira's death through the Nurse i s a moment of emotional tension for the Chorus. There i s only one short kommos (878-895) i n the play, and t h i s i s i t . According to Kirkwood ("The Dramatic Role of the Chorus i n Sophocles"), i t s purpose i s the basic purpose of kommoi, to i n d i c a t e and emphasize a heightening of emotion. 22 They also provide a l i n k between Deianeira and I o l e . 2 3 M u s u r i l l o , 377. Deianeira t e l l s of when she h e r s e l f was a shy, inexperienced maiden following Heracles across the r i v e r on Nessus' back. " T r u s t f u l and s t i l l unused to the treachery of men, she screams at the l u s t f u l monster's touch" (Musurillo, 377). 144 BIBLIOGRAPHY I. Ancient Authors and Texts Aristotle. De Arte Poetica. (1) Edited by Rudolfus Kassel. Oxford 1965. (2) Translated by Richard McKeon. Introduction to Aristotle. New York 1947. Sophocles. (1) Sophoclis Fabulae. Edited by A. C. Pearson. Oxford 1924. (2) Sophocles Trachiniae. Edited and with commentary by Lewis Campbell and Evelyn Abbot. Oxford 1893. (3) Sophocles II. Translated by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore. New York 1957. (4) Sophocles the Plays and Fragments Part V The Trachiniae. Edited, translated, and with commentary by R. C. Jebb. Cambridge 1892. (5) The Plays of Sophocles Part II The Trachiniae. Commentary by J. C. Kamerbeek. Leiden 1959. 145 I I . Modern Authors Adams, S. M. Sophocles the Playwright. Toronto 1957. Biggs, Penelope. "The Disease Theme i n Sophocles' Ajax, P h i l o c t e t e s , and T r a c h i n i a e . " CPh 62 (1966), 223-235. Bowra, C. M. Sophoclean Tragedy. Oxford 1944. E a r l e , M. L. "The C l a s s i c a l Papers, Studies i n Sophocles's Trachinians," TAPA (1902), 5-29. Earp, F. R. "The Trac h i n i a e , " CR 53 (1939), 113-115. E a s t e r l i n g , P. E. "Sophocles, Tr a c h i n i a e , " BICS 15 (1968), 58-69. Ehrenberg, V i c t o r . "Tragic Heracles," DUJ 4 (1943), 51-62. G e l l i e , G. H. Sophocles: A Reading. Melbourne 1972. Hoey, T. F. Presentional Imagery i n the Trachiniae of Sophocles. Resume i n HSCP 68 (1964), 417-419. Hoey, T. F. "Sun Symbolism i n the Parodos of the Tr a c h i n i a e , " Arethusa 5 (1972), 133-154. Hoey, Thomas F. "The Trachiniae and the Unity of Hero," Arethusa 3 (1970), 1-22. Houghton, Herbert Pierrepont. "Deianeira i n the Tra c h i n i a e of Sophocles," P a l l a s 2 (1964), 69-102. Johansen, Holger F r i i s . "Sophocles 1939-1959," Lustrum 7 (1962), 94-288. 146 Kirkwood, G. M. "The Dramatic Role of the Chorus in Sophocles," Phoenix 8 (1954), 1-22. Kirkwood, Gordon M. "The Dramatic Unity of Sophocles' Trachiniae," TAPA 72 (1941), 203-211. Kirkwood, G. M. "A Review of Recent Sophoclean Studies," The Classical  Weekly 50 (1957), 157-172. Kirkwood, G. M. A Study of Sophoclean Drama. Ithaca 1958. Kitto, H. D. F. Greek Tragedy, A Literary Study. London 1939. Kitto, H. D. F. Poiesls Structure and Thought. Berkely and Los Angeles 1966. Kitto, H. D. F. "Sophocles, Sta t i s t i c s , and the Trachiniae," AJP 60 (1939), 178-193. Knox, Bernard M. W. The Heroic Temper, Studies in Sophoclean Tragedy. Berkely 1964. Knox, Bernard. "Sophocles' Oedipus," Tragic Themes in Western Literature. Edited by Cleanth Brooks. New Haven 1955. 7-29. Lattlmore, Richmond. Story Patterns in Greek Tragedy. Ann Arbor 1964. Lesky, Albin. Greek Tragedy. Translated by H. A. Frankfort. New York 1965. Linforth, Ivan M. "The Pyre on Mount Oeta in Sophocles' Trachiniae," University of California Publications'in Classical Philology 14 (1952), 255-267 147 Lloyd-Jones, Hugh. "Greek Tragedy: Sophocles' Women of T r a c h i s , " The Greeks. Edite d by Hugh Lloyd-Jones. London 1962. Long, A. A. "Poisonous 'Growths' i n Trachiniae," GRBS 8 (1967), 275-278. McCall, M. "The Trachiniae. Structure, Focus and Herakles," AJP 93 (1972), 142-163. MacKinnon, J . K. "Heracles' Intention i n His Second Request of Hy l l u s : Trach. 1216-51," CC; 21 (1971), 33-41. Mason, H. A. "The Women of T r a c h i s , " A r i o n 2 (1963),59-81. Mason, H. A. "The Women of Trachis (Part I I ) , " Arion 2 (1963), 105-121. Murray, G. "Heracles, 'The Best of Men'," Greek Studies. Oxford 1946. 106-126. M u s u r i l l o , Herbert. "Fortune's Wheel: The Symbolism of Sophocles' Women of T r a c h i s , " TAPA 92 (1961), 372-383. Post, C. R. "The Dramatic Art of Sophocles," HSCP 23 (1912), 71-127. Schadewaldt, W. Sophokles und das L e i d . Potsdam 1944. Segal, Charles. "The Hydra's N u r s l i n g : Image and A c t i o n i n the T r a c h i n i a e , " L ' A n t i q u i t e Classique 44 (1975), 612-617. Sl a t e r , Kathleen F i e l d . "Some Suggestions for Staging the Tr a c h i n i a e , " A r i o n N.S. 3 (1976), 57-68. Waith, Eugene M. The Herculean Hero. London 1962. Waldock, A. J . A. Sophocles the Dramatist. Cambridge 1951. 148 Webster, T. B. L. An Introduction to Sophocles. Oxford 1936. Webster, T. B. L. "Sophocles' Trachiniae," Greek Poetry and L i f e : Essays for Gilbert Murray. Oxford 1936. 164-180. Wender, Dorothea. "The Will of the Beast: Sexual Imagery i n the Trachiniae," Ramus 3 (1974), 1-17. Whitman, Cedric H. Sophocles, A Study of Heroic Humanism/ Harvard 1951. 

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