Dolon euergetes: Ps.-euripides, rhesvs 149–90 and the rhetoric of civic euergesia

Classical Quarterly 66 (2):514-524 (2016)
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Abstract

In the Rhesus, Hector is convinced that he has the right solution for every problem. He is also eager to impose his views on his peers, like Aeneas, and above all on his subjects or on foreigners, like the watchmen of the chorus and Dolon, or on Rhesus. At the same time, he is ready to change his mind in the course of a debate, and occasionally makes decisions that are in tune with the views of his interlocutors but radically different from his original opinions. One of the cases where he most persistently tries to impose his viewpoint but evidently fails, and must eventually accept the viewpoint of a subordinate, is the guessing game of Rhes. 165–83. The scene's format emphasizes his unsuccessfulness, and may even have been tinged with a comic or farcical effect—in fact, the format of the guessing game is found only here in tragedy, while it is not uncommon in Aristophanes and also reappears, with what seems to be a precise allusion to our Rhesus passage, in Menander's Perikeiromene.

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