chapter  4
7 Pages

Rhetoric and Dialectic

In these plays the chorus is not completely in the action, as it was in Middle Tragedy, nor close to the heart of the tragedy, as in the Hecuba, Suppliant Wonten and Troades. In the Suppliant Women it virtually becomes protagonist once more.' Its suffering sums up the tragic bearing of the play, and its appeal begins and controls the action, overruling the worldly prudence of Theseus and succeeding where the guilty Adrastus failed. Here is no uncertainty, no turning to moral or social disquisitions for the sake of a curtain. In these three plays the Chorus takes as natural and apparently inevitable a place as it had in the oldest of Greek Tragedy, the representative or the symbol of suffering humanity.