Il ‘romanzo di Alcesti’

Greta Castrucci

Abstract


This paper traces the presence of Euripides’ Alcestis as subtext in four Greek novels: Chariton, Xenophon of Ephesus, Achilles Tatius and Heliodorus. I attempt to show how influential Euripides’ tragedy has been for the expression of important novelistic ideals, such as the absolute value of love, higher than life, and the happy ending that crowns the lovers’ adventures, a reward for their reciprocal and true love, stronger than life. Within this large canvass, specific features and lexical correspondences can be retraced in each novelist’s treatment of the subtext. Some attention is also paid to iconographical evidence of the Roman period, closer to the novel than Euripides’ play, and such also close to them in their exploitations of the myth of Alcestis: the ideal wife of Roman sarcophagi finds correspondences in the novelistic Alcestis.

Greta Castrucci has been a postdoctoral fellow at University of Milan until March 2016. Previously she completed a doctorate at the University of Padua. Her research focuses mainly on Homer, Plato, Greek Novel, intertextuality, paideia and relationship between literary imagination and Greek real places. 


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