Euripides and Gender: The Difference the Fragments Make
Funke, Melissa Karen Anne
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Euripides and Gender: The Difference the Fragments Make Research on gender in Greek tragedy has traditionally focused on the extant plays, with only sporadic recourse to discussion of the many fragmentary plays for which we have evidence. This project aims to perform an extensive study of the sixty-two fragmentary plays of Euripides in order to provide a picture of his presentation of gender that is as full as possible. Beginning with an overview of the history of the collection and transmission of the fragments and an introduction to the study of gender in tragedy and Euripides' extant plays, this project takes up the contexts in which the fragments are found and the supplementary information on plot and character (known as testimonia) as a guide in its analysis of the fragments themselves. These contexts include the fifth-century CE anthology of Stobaeus, who preserved over one third of Euripides' fragments, and other late antique sources such as Clement's Miscellanies, Plutarch's Moralia, and Athenaeus' Deipnosophistae. The sections on testimonia investigate sources ranging from the mythographers Hyginus and Apollodorus to Apulian pottery to a group of papyrus hypotheses known as the "Tales from Euripides", with a special focus on plot-type, especially the rape-and-recognition and Potiphar's wife storylines. The final section turns to fragments and comic parodies of Euripides in Aristophanes, which are instructive as a contemporary source of information on the playwright. This section focuses on the fragmentary play Andromeda, but also includes information on a variety of the other fragmentary plays from lines and scholia from various Aristophanic plays. Finally, I consider the difference that the fragments make to our understanding of larger patterns of gender in Euripides. I consider how the fragments provide an expanded diversity of specific types of Euripidean characters, a more developed image of characters that appear in the extant plays, more examples of specific plot-types, more explorations of masculinity, and further plots taken from famous mythological cycles, concluding that the fragmentary plays expand the possibilities of how gender was portrayed and portrayable in Euripides' plays.