John Henry

John Henry (MA in Classics & Archaeology, 2021) ‘Femina Necans: A Study on Gendered Violence in Greek Tragedy’

In Greek tragedy, there were various methods available for a tragic woman to destroy her enemies: poison, a sword or dagger used in stealth, among other indirect methods. In this thesis, Femina Necans, these tropes will be investigated in a series of case studies on tragedies from Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. Several matters are raised: did Clytemnestra use a sword or an axe against Cassandra in the Oresteia? How could ‘heroic’ characters such as Euripides’ Medea be portrayed using poison, a decidedly unheroic method? Finally, could the origins of tragedy and its relation to Dionysus explain Greek tragedy’s curious preoccupation with violent women?
Supervisors: Professor K.O. Chong-Gossard, Dr Emily Hulme