Iphigenia in Aulis

Iphigenia in Aulis or Iphigenia at Aulis[1] (Ancient Greek: Ἰφιγένεια ἐν Αὐλίδι, romanized: Īphigéneia en Aulídi; variously translated, including the Latin Iphigenia in Aulide) is the last of the extant works by the playwright Euripides. Written between 408, after Orestes, and 406 BC, the year of Euripides' death, the play was first produced the following year[2] in a trilogy with The Bacchae and Alcmaeon in Corinth by his son or nephew, Euripides the Younger,[3] and won first place at the City Dionysia in Athens.[2]

Iphigenia in Aulis
Written byEuripides
ChorusGreek Women of Chalcis.
Old servant
First Messenger
Second Messenger
Date premiered405 BC
Place premieredAthens
Original languageAncient Greek
SettingPort of Aulis

Set prior to the commencement of the Trojan War, "Iphigenia at Aulis" revolves around the strong resistance by Clytemnestra to the decision of her husband, Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek coalition before and during the Trojan War, to ritually sacrifice and kill his daughter, Iphigenia, to appease the goddess Artemis. This will allow his troops to set sail to preserve their honour in order to battle and ultimately sack Troy, something which will result in the killing by Agamemnon and the Greek men of all of Troy's men and the enslavement of all of its women.[4] These latter events are central to several of the Greek tragedies such as Euripides' "Hecuba" and "The Trojan Women", as well as Aeschylus' play "Agamemnon".

The conflict in "Iphigenia at Aulis" also focuses closely on Iphigenia's initial resistance to the idea of dying/being killed and her relationship with her father and, to a lesser degree, on a young Achilles, who is drawn into the situation by Agamemnon. Also known to the audience of Athenians who witnessed the play's performance would have been the fact that, as a result of Agamemnon's actions, after the war he will be killed upon his homecoming by his wife, Clytemnestra, and that she in turn will be killed by her son, Orestes, in order to avenge his father. All appear in "Iphigenia at Aulis".[4]

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