Iphigenia in Aulis

Iphigenia in Aulis is known as the final work of Greek playwright Euripides. Written sometime around 408 B.C.E and around the time of his death, the work was recognized and won first prize in a contest in Athenian City. The play is about a Greek leader that decides to sacrifice his daughter in order to get his troops across the waters to battle Troy. Iphigenia is the daughter of the Greek leader Agamemnon, as he leads the Trojan War. The play is known as a classic that inspired other creative works including modern art and operas.

While the play has been said to be a true piece of classic literature, many question the element of sacrificing your child to win a war. As many students are required to read the play and write literature essays about the story behind it, some find unique comparisons to relate to in modern society. Few wonder what it is like to have to sacrifice something so dear and close to you for something that doesn’t make sense. You may even consider thinking about the daughter who seems to have little say in whether she wants to live.

It is believed the author wanted the audience to feel a unique connection to the characters. You have a leader that is fighting for the honor of his country, but his daughter is being sacrificed so they can come out triumphant. She has to think about her country and what they want, versus defining how valuable her life is to herself. The Greek leader, Agamemnon is believed to have his thoughts consumed by demons as he takes his family on journey that some feel is a complete family crisis. There are elements in the play that people in modern times seem to face all over again.

As literature books and theatre productions reproduce this work for entertainment and education purposes, some analysts feel the true meaning of the literature is not understood. There may be certain actions or events in the play that stand out, but many may not truly grasp its significance in modern society. Because people are able to connect with the characters through how they feel, there is a chance some will grab hold of its true meaning. In the meantime, many continue to marvel at the work and learn about the author that made it creatively possible.

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