44 pages 1 hour read

Ed. John C. Gilbert, Euripides


Fiction | Play | Adult | BCE

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Essay Topics


The play is titled Ion, but in many ways, Creusa is the principal character. Who do you think is the more dynamic character of the play, and why?


German philosopher and literary critic Friedrich Nietzsche drew a distinction between Apollonian and Dionysian themes, claiming that the former (as god of logic) promotes reason of emotion, while the latter (god of wine) promotes chaos, and the prioritizing of emotion over reason. Do the events of Ion seem to suggest a preference for either the Apollonian or Dionysian worldview (or both)?


The term anagnorisis (Greek for “recognition”) is used even in modern literary criticism to refer to the moment when one of the main characters recognizes his or her true identity or discovers another important detail of himself or herself. This play features several scenes of anagnorisis. Compare the first (false) anagnorises of Xuthus and Ion with the closing anagnorises of Creusa and Ion. How do the characters react to their respective discoveries?