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The Suppliants

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  473 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
A shrine is stronger than a tower to save, A shield that none may cleave. Step swift thereto, And in your left hands hold with reverence The white-crowned wands of suppliance, the sign Beloved of Zeus, compassion's lord, and speak To those that question you, words meek and low And piteous, as beseems your stranger state,
Paperback, 52 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published -463)
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David Sarkies
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who really like Greek literature
Recommended to David by: My classics lecturer
Shelves: tragedy
The history of the Daenids
24 April 2012

My classics lecturer mentioned that this play was rather ho-hum and in a way I am inclined to agree. However, we still need to consider that it is an Aeschylus play, which means that it was at least a generation earlier than the plays of Sophocles and Euripides. Aeschylus is considered to be one of the great dramatists of Classical Greece, however since we only have plays from two other tragedians that doesn't really say much.

Aeschylus' plays do tend to b
J.G. Keely
Apr 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, drama, reviewed, greece
There's something so vital about Greek invocations. Their figurative language is so crisp, precise, and yet allusive. Aeschylus was the great innovator of tragedy, taking to heart the spirit of fearless meddling that infected all Greek genius. 'The Suppliants' is a brief but solid example of his power.

Cookson's translation transmits the evocation and originality of the work, but his penchant for rendering the chorus with rhyme is awkward and not true to Greek traditions. English is too large, co
Maan Kawas
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful play by the great Ancient Greek Aeschylus! Its style is older and more different from Aeschylus’ other tragedies; for instance, the fifty daughters of Danaus (Danaides), the protagonists, are also the chorus in the play; and the play is full of lyrics with less action. Also, there is no tragic end or a tragic fall of a hero in the play, as can be seen in other following tragedies. The main theme of the play is centered on the refusal of the Danaides the forced marriage to their own E ...more
Edward Cheer
Not a particularly engrossing play, or one with very complex or intriguing characters. A bit of a disappointment for me personally, being this is the first play I've read by Aeschylus. It's not bad, by any stretch, it's just very dull. It could have been the particular translation I read, but something about trying to find investment in a nameless, faceless choir is a bit of a chore since the actual Suppliant Maidens just aren't that interesting. Neither are the events that surround their lives. ...more
Francisco H. González
Al igual que hacía Antígona reclamando el cuerpo de su hermano Polinices, muerto en su lucha contra Eteocles, cuando el primero trata de tomar la ciudad de Tebas, como describió Esquilo en su obra Los siete contra Tebas, las madres de los que han caído en la toma de la ciudad, le piden a Creonte (rey de Tebas, tras abandonar el reinado Edipo) que les devuelva los cuerpos a fin de no quedar estos insepultos, y reclaman la ayuda de Etra, madre de Teseo (rey de Atenas), para que interceda por ellos ...more
Alejandro Orradre
Primera parte de una trilogía que se perdió, Las suplicantes es una sorprendente obra que supone un poco velado alegato en favor de las mujeres y su derecho a ser dueñas de su propio destino, sin duda un valor que en aquella época no era para nada común -aunque existieran algunas excepciones-; a través de la historia de las Danaides y su huida de sus primos Esquilo defiende, a su manera y siempre desde el contexto histórico en el que vivió, la figura de la mujer como un ser independiente del hom ...more
Garrett Cash
Jul 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Well, if you are the type of person that would enjoy 40 pages of veneration of an all powerful pimp I suppose you could like this.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 6-out-of-10, play
"Help us, we don't want to be forced to marry our cousins"
"Why should we?"
"Because we're the daughters of a cow that married god, and you're related to the cow. Also because we'll kill ourselves if you don't. Oh, and we love Zeus!!!!!!!!!!!"
Paul LaFontaine
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Tough sledding. Chorus and complexity in an outdated style of play. I think to enjoy this requires a unique test for antiquities.
O.G. Hofer
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, classics
Aeschylus' work, even among the Greek tragedians whose plays survive, serves as an interesting exercise in heightening tension while the physical action of the play takes place offstage. His writing relies more heavily than most later works on the probing of the human heart, and those disinterested in introspection are likely to find his plays tedious. Despite, or perhaps because of this, I find his manner of examination to appeal more to the intellect than the emotions. Perhaps it's partly due ...more
Ben Dutton
Feb 07, 2012 rated it liked it
The Suppliants is the first part of a lost trilogy that would have included the works The Egyptians and The Daughters of Danaus. As such, The Suppliants reads as an introduction to a larger work, and ends openly, with very few of its narrative threads resolved.

The Danaids are the fifty daughters of Danaus, and they serve as the chorus and the protagonists of The Suppliants. The Danaids are to be wed to their Egyptian cousins, but flee, and when they reach Argos plead for King Pelasgus to protect
Marcos Junior
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literatura, 2015, teatro
O rei de Argos recebe uma comitiva composta por um ancião, Dânaos, e suas 50 filhas, que deixaram suas terras fugindo dos egípcios, que as desejam por esposas. O rei egípcio é irmão de Dânaos, e por costume de guerra, eles têm direito a receber as filhas de Dânaos. Em desespero, elas vão até Argos e suplicam por proteção.

A peça representa um momento de evolução no mundo grego. Os deuses não possuem mais respostas para os dilemas humanos. Se o rei aceitar o pedido das suplicantes, coloca o reino
Giorgos Moukazis
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Οι Ικέτιδες του Αισχύλου αποτελούν σε γενικές γραμμές ένα έργο που ενσαρκώνει τα σημαντικότερα χαρακτηριστικά της Αισχύλειας τραγωδίας: μεγάλη έμφαση στο μύθο, υψηλού επιπέδου λυρικότητα, όχι συχνές αναφορές σε in concreto επιχειρήματα. Ανεξάρτητα, ωστόσο, από τέτοιες τεχνικές παρατηρήσεις, κατά τη γνώμη μου, στις Ικέτιδες ο Αισχύλος θίγει ένα ζήτημα ταμπού για τη δημοκρατική αλλά μάλλον όχι τόσο φιλελεύθερη αθηναϊκή κοινωνία της εποχής του. Ειναι μάλιστα τέτοια η διορατικότητα στη διατύπωση του ...more
Apr 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
The play is the first of three that tell the story of the 50 daughters of Danus who flee Egypt and forced marriages to their cousins. They seek refuge in Argos, Greece, claiming to be descendants of Zeus and the Argians (?) promise to protect them, even when a Herald from their cousins comes to take them away, by force if need be. As with all good trilogies, this is where the pay ends - on a cliffhanger. Unfortunately, it's one I'll never get to know the middle or end of as the remaining two pla ...more
Brian Schiebout
Feb 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Suppliant Maidens is an ancient play written by Aeschylus. Aeschylus was a playwright in ancient Greece who wrote stories of history through his plays. Suppliant Maidens deals with a legend that long ago certain of the descendants of Io and Zeus were in conflict with each other. It seems that fifty sons of Aegyptus desired to marry and thus control the fifty daughters of Danaus who were their cousins. Thus the daughters had fled to Argos, the city of their ancestors. In this play they and their ...more
Aug 29, 2014 rated it liked it
The Suppliants started out wonderfully interesting to me, but my interest plateaued about midway, perhaps in part because I had to break up my reading of this play into two sittings and I finished it after watching a film that moved me very deeply. The Suppliants was readable, somewhat interesting, but I wouldn't say moving. Adding to my tepid enthusiasm for the work, the play (to me) has the feel of an unfinished piece, and that is probably because it is part of a tetralogy, of which the other ...more
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: tragedies
"دانائیدها" پنجاه دختر "دانائوس"، بنیانگذار آرگوس، از یک ازدواج اجباری با پسرعموهایشان در مصر، می گریزند و نزد پلاسکوس پادشاه آرگوس، پناه می جویند. اما پلاسکوس پذیرش آنها را به رای مردم آرگوس می گذارد. آرگوسی ها علیرغم اعتراض مصری ها، رای می دهند که دانائیدها سزاوار پناه دادن هستند. اما به زودی آشکار می شود که چهل و نه دانائید، شوهرانشان را بنا به دستوری کشته اند اما "هیپرم نسترا"، یکی از آنها عاشق شوهر خود لینسئوس است و نه تنها او را نجات می دهد، بلکه یاری اش می کند تا بگریزد. دانائوس خشمگین از ...more
Geoffrey Orens
Jan 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
When I first read this at about 20 years old, I really couldn't stand it. It became part of my railing against the classics in that such plays appear on many "must read" lists, but outside of being historically important, they were really boring reads. However, many years later, I may not have changed my mind entirely, but I certainly enjoyed my second time through this ancient work much better than the first. Of course, it's lack of fulfilling conclusion comes from the part--as others have ment ...more
This is, unfortunately, a scrap of a larger story, the rest of which I presume was not saved.

There isn't anything particularly wrong with the story itself, it just lacks the larger context that another few plays would have given it. It's like reading only one chapter of a book and it's not even that good of a chapter.

The plot in itself is rather simple. (view spoiler)
This is one of the most primitive Greek tragedies that has survived to our day: The protagonist is an undifferentiated chorus of fifty Egyptian maidens of Greek ancestry who are being pressured into marrying their cousins. They arrive in Argos and pray to the gods and plead for the Argive King Pelasgus to save them from their pursuing cousins.

Aeschylus has written better plays, but The Suppliants does have its moments, such as at the end when the chorus hits upon one of the key Greek virtues:
Sep 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-drama
This was the first play by Aeschylus that I ever read- to say the least, it wasn't really the best play to start with as a first impression, although it isn't really bad. The Suppliant Maidens is not a plot-driven play at all, which isn't uncommon for Aeschylus' works, but this one moves very, very slowly. It's also a bit hard to understand (this may just be because I started my Greek project with this play) as far as where the actual story is going. Assuming that this is an earlier play from th ...more
Mar 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: greek-plays
The basic premise is that fifty female descendants of Io seek plead with the Athenian king for refuge in order to avoid having to marry their cousins. The king must face choose between giving sanctuary to the women, an act that would certainly result in war, or offend the gods by refusing the suppliants. This tragedy is unique in that the chorus plays a more active role than that of observers. While this text may no make for captivating reading, it actually plays very well, especially the perfor ...more
Sep 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, greek-latin
This was another good Greek play. It didn't flow as well as the other ones, but it was still interesting and worth reading. This play is different in that the main character is the chorus. The chorus being 50 daughters of man running from Egyptian princes trying to force them into marriage. They escape to Greece where the Greeks choose to help them. This play is not complete however. There are only fragments of the last two parts of it. So no one really knows everything that happens.

Still anothe
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
50 daughters of Danaus, a descendant of Io, flee a forced marriage to their 50 cousins. Danaus and his daughters seek sanctuary in Argos. There they meet the king, Pelasgus, who after some deliberation and consultation with his people, agree to help the Suppliants. Themes include justice, honor, hospitality, and marriage.

By the play's end the daughters escape from the hands of an Egyptian herald who has been tasked with bringing the sisters back to Egypt. First Pelasgus, then Danaus, arrive with
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it
My first play by this ancient Greek playwright.

Cool to see the democratic undercurrents flowing in this short play before the political ideology became established. Translated into verse and a little difficult to read at first. Requires knowledge of ancient Greek history and myths to really appreciate the work (which I don't fully have and which I wasn't able to) as I'm sure will be the case with all the rest of Aeschylus's plays.

In any case, onward...
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
If women were more or less portrayed as appellants who only annoy real men in "Seven Against Thebes", here their tragedy is truly the cause of manly power around them. My liking for this is in its simplicity, nothing really happens but then again, it is only the first part in a trilogy. And of course seeing today's current situation all around us, the refugee crisis, something in this words hit me especially hard.
Aeschylus takes his glorification of the Greeks to untenable, xenophobic heights here. It's really quite clear cut, Pelasgus and the Argives are the civilised saviours of the Danain women fleeing from their savage, lust-filled Egyptian cousins. Reading about Io and Zeus was fun though.
La Corifeo cuenta que rechazando las bodas de los hijos de Egipto, Dánao, su padre, las ha traído a Argos, de donde ha surgido su raza, esperando que las acepten como suplicantes.
Rosa Berbel
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesantísimo el papel de las mujeres y el concepto de pueblo en una obra escrita en el siglo V a.C.
Jan 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the peter burian translation mine is the princeton edition
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Aeschylus (525 BC – 456 BC) [Ésquilo in Portuguese, Esquilo in Spanish] was an ancient Greek playwright. He is often recognized as the father or the founder of tragedy, and is the earliest of the three Greek tragedians whose plays survive extant, the others being Sophocles and Euripides. According to Aristotle, he expanded the number of characters in plays to allow for conflict among them; previou ...more
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