It is the aim of this study to offer an advanced methodology for grasping the complex "workings" of the tragic genre in ancient Greek society based upon anthropological theory that offers insights into the way social action, art included, may operate. It keeps closely to the ancient theorists as well, primarily Aristotle, proposing a coherent model and terminology for analysing single tragedies within the anthropological framework advocated in the theoretical part. The second part of the volume offers analyses of seven tragedies. Concrete analysis manifests itself as a "running commentary" in the sense that it tracks the dramatic development as well as the "tragic Progress" in the anthropological sense.
One of the primary aims of this study is to renew interest in the fascinating phenomenon of Greek tragedy and to inspire discussion on the questions raised in the course of the inquiry. While concentrating on Euripides, the theory is concerned with the genre as a whole, as in Synnøve des Bouvrie's earlier work.
As pointed out in the present study, in current research the genre is basically met with assumptions that stem from present-day concepts, preventing us from recognising its complex nature. A perennial question in Western discourse over the last few centuries has been the inquiry into the essence of "the tragic", its answers being many and hotly debated. This study offers a radically alternative approach to this question.