What do the tragedies of ancient Greece have to do with World War I?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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This a very interesting question. Greek tragedies were approximately written two thousand five hundred years ago. From this distance alone, one would guess that these tragedies would have nothing to do with World War I. However, if you look carefully at some of the tragedies, then there is some connection to World War I. I can think of one very direct way.

Some of the themes of tragedy deal with war. In fact, Aeschylus, the first playwright was a solider when the Greeks fought the Persians. In particular, he fought at the battle of Marathon and when he died, this fact was written on his epitaph, instead of his fame as playwright. So, if you read the tragedies carefully, there will be references to war and the themes associated with war. The work that deals directly with war directly is the Persians.

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