Honors Bachelor of Arts

Document Type


Faculty Advisor

Thesis Director: Dr. Shannon Hogue; Thesis Reader: Dr. Niamh J. O'Leary; Thesis Reader: Dr. Stephen Yandell; HAB Course Director: Dr. Thomas Strunk




This study consists of a literary analysis of two Euripidean plays to explore audience reception. Hippolytus is the first tragic work I will examine, and it was performed in 428 BCE, three years after the start of the war; the final work I will examine, the Bacchae, which was also Euripides’ final play, was performed in 405 BCE, one year before the end of the war. A literary, specifically semiotic, analysis of the divine characters can provide insight into the audience’s reception of the plays. That is, by examining the symbols within the text, one can begin to understand what interpretations the audience members may have conceived as a result of the characters and events both within the plays and against the historical backdrop of the Peloponnesian War. Therefore, I intend to argue that although Euripides was known for having an anti-war stance during the Peloponnesian War, a semiotic analysis paired with the historical context of the texts reveals a pro-war sentiment that stands as a well-supported interpretation likely held by some audience members.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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