16 March 2014

The Trojan Women

We went to see Regent University's production of The Trojan Women by Euripides Saturday night. Well-staged and well-acted, The Trojan Women was a powerful hour an a-half about the collision of duty, virtue, and vengeance after the fall of Troy to the Greeks.

Characterizing this play as many do as "anti-war" strikes me as an anachronism. Only moderns for whom death is the ultimate evil would see The Trojan Women that way. For the Greeks, the play would have represented deeper and conflicting forces from which war and human death were the tragic by-products. "Life is hard, then you die," was then (and is now, for that matter) a better summary of our situation in the world than the notion of unending progress (whether of material prosperity or sexual autonomy)  that characterizes contemporary secular eschatology. (If you think think "Life is hard, then you die" is unduly negative, consider that Christian eschatology teaches that life is hard, then you die, and then judgment follows (Hb 9.27).)

It's a challenge to follow the many historical and personal references that are part of The Trojan Women. But one need not rise to the challenge; the power of the dialogue and acting stand on their own and make the play well worth seeing.

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