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Virgil's Sophoclean Thebans

Mac Góráin, F; (2018) Virgil's Sophoclean Thebans. Vergilius , 64 pp. 49-74. Green open access

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Abstract

This article explores Vergil's allusions in the Aeneid to Sophocles's Theban plays, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. The allusions are put in the context of (a) analogies between civil strife in Roman history and familial strife in Theban myth, and (b) Vergil's recall of Greek tragedy. Dido, Aeneas, and Turnus all find counterparts in Sophocles's Theban plays. At times Dido resembles Antigone and at others Oedipus the King. Aeneas resembles Oedipus at Colonus at two moments in books 7 and 8. Turnus recalls Antigone at several moments in book 12. The allusions to the Antigone are reinforced by similarities with Accius's Antigona. The Sophoclean intertextuality intersects with several themes in Vergil, including the limits of human knowledge, the connection between death and marriage, and the recrudescent tendency towards civil war. Vergil's aetiological framework becomes crossed with a poetics of civil war and intrafamilial strife as these are transmitted down through the generations.

Type: Article
Title: Virgil's Sophoclean Thebans
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.vergiliansociety.org/vergilius-journal...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Greek and Latin
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10054257
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