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Emily Katz Anhalt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300217377

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300217377.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 21 January 2022

The Abuse of Power and Its Consequences (Euripides’ Hecuba)

The Abuse of Power and Its Consequences (Euripides’ Hecuba)

(p.149) 6 The Abuse of Power and Its Consequences (Euripides’ Hecuba)

Emily Katz Anhalt

Yale University Press

This chapter examines Hecuba's emphasis on the abuse of power and its consequences. In its depiction of rage, Hecuba exposes the ramifications of people in power failing to respect any obligations toward the powerless. The play reminds its audience that democratic decision making, by empowering individuals, simultaneously requires individuals to take responsibility for their actions and to learn to judge and to choose to do what is best. The chapter also explains how Hecuba enables the audience to see that every violent act will produce further violence. The characters call this “justice,” but the audience cannot. In addition, the play insists that morality can be unlearned and stresses the gratuitous cruelty and suffering that human beings inflict on one another.

Keywords:   power, rage, Hecuba, democratic decision making, violence, justice, morality, cruelty, suffering

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