Intertextuality in Ancient Greek Tragedy: The Case of Euripidean Orestes
This paper discusses the role of intertextuality in understanding Euripides’ Orestes, beginning with an overview of intertextuality theories, especially those from the domain of structuralism, i.e. by Julia Kristeva (and Mikhail Bakhtin), Roland Barthes, Michael Riffaterre, and Gérard Genette. The second part of the paper discusses the theoretical implications of intertextuality for classical philology and provides a literature review of intertextuality in Orestes. The concluding part presents three possible objections to Zeitlin’s argument about the intertextuality of Orestes. A discussion of the social context of the tragedy is followed by an account of the structuralists’ understanding of language and rounded off with speculations on the possibility of intertextuality in oral literature.
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