The purpose of this Independent Study is to examine the innovations of the Greek playwright Euripides to the chorus in Greek tragedy, specifically in his Alcestis, Trojan Women, and Phoenician Women. I argue that Euripides breaks from the tragic tradition to reflect new social trends, taking the chorus out of its set mold and emphasizing its liminal nature and function as a bridge. In Euripides, the chorus becomes a part of the action in a way not previously seen, allowing commentary on national and social identity, as his treatment of the chorus blurs the boundaries between it and the other characters. I further argue that Euripides uses the chorus as a bridge that allows for a powerful connection, through the music of the play, between past and present, poet and audience, and performance and society, in order to comment on Athenian society. Finally, Euripides' innovative treatment of the chorus subverts traditional characterization of tragic heroes and non-tragic characters, placing these characters on a more equal level, and through the chorus he blurs this characterization.


Florence, Monica


Classical Studies


Classical Literature and Philology


euripides, greek tragedy, the chorus, greek, classical languages

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2013 David Chu