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(p.2) Introduction
Aeschylus: Suppliant Women
A. J. Bowen
Liverpool University Press

This chapter provides a background on Aeschylus' play called the Suppliant Women. It explains the chief elements of the myth of the Danaids. It also discusses the four elements that are 'common' to all the versions of the Suppliant Women: first, there are two brothers that are descendants of Io named Aegyptus and Danaus; second, the characters quarrel; third, the fifty sons marry the fifty daughters; and fourth, all the girls obey their father's instruction to kill their husbands on the wedding night, except Hypermestra. This chapter analyses the source of the myth of the Danaids. It explains that the most important cyclic poem was Danaides, which was thought to be composed in the sixth century.

Keywords:   Aeschylus, Suppliant Women, Danaids, Aegyptus, Danaus, Hypermestra, Danaides

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