Trachynyanka - Sophocles (496-406 BC e)

Literature of antiquity and the Middle Ages - Summary - 2019

Sophocles (496-406 BC e)

"Trachynyanka" means "girls from the city of Trakhan". Trakhin ("rocky") is a small town in the remote mountainous outskirts of Greece, under the Mount Etois, not far from the glorious Fermopil gorge. He is famous only for the fact that he lived in his last years the greatest of Greek heroes - Hercules, son of Zeus. On Mount Ete, he accepted voluntary death on fire, ascended to heaven and became a god. The unwitting culprit of this martyrdom was his Deanir's wife, faithful and loving. She is the heroine of this tragedy, and the chorus of Trakhan girls is her interlocutors.
Almost all the Greek heroes were kings in different cities and towns, except Hercules. He was studying his future divinity by bondage labor in the service of the insignificant king of southern Greece. He made twelve feats for him, one for the other heavier. The last was a descent into Hades, an underground kingdom, for the terrible three-headed dog who guarded the kingdom of the dead. There, in Aida, he met the shadow of the hero of Meleagra, also a fighter with monsters, the most powerful of the older heroes. Meleagr said to him: "There, on the ground, I had a sister named Deanir; take her to wife, she is worthy of you."
When Hercules ended his bondage service, he went to the edge of Greece to marry Deanir. He came on time: there flowed the river Ahelo, the largest in Greece, and God demanded Deanir himself as his wife. Hercules grasped the god in the fight, pushed him like a mountain; he turned the serpent, Hercules squeezed his throat; he turned into a bull, Hercules broke his horn. Ahelo succumbed, Deanir's salvation was given to Hercules, and he carried her with her to the return journey.
The path was lying even through one river, and the carrier on that river was the wild centaur Ness, half-human-semicircle. He liked Deanirra, and he wanted to kidnap her. But Hercules had a bow and there were arrows poisoned by the black blood of the many-headed snake of Hydra, which he once defeated and cut off. The arrows of Hercules overtaken the centaur, and he realized that his death had come. Then, to avenge Heracles, he said to Deanery: "I loved you, and I want to do you good." Take the blood from my wound and keep it from the light and people. If your husband loves another, then blot his clothes with this blood, and his love will return to you. " Deanir did so, not knowing that Ness's blood was poisoned by the arrow of Hercules.
It was time, and she had to remember about this blood. Hercules was visiting a familiar king in the city of Ehalia (two days from Trakhina), and royal daughter Iola loved him. He demanded that the king give her a concubine. The king refused, and the royal son added mockingly: "It's not her face to be with someone who served twelve years as a bondage servant." Heracles was angry and pushed the royal son off the wall - the only time in his life killed the enemy not by force, but by deception. The gods chastised him for that - they were once again given into slavery for a year to the lying overseas queen Omfale. Deanery did not know anything about it. She lived in Trakhin alone with her young son Gill and patiently waited for her husband's return.
Here Sophocles drama begins.
On Deanir's scene, she is full of anxiety. Heracel ordered her to wait for her year and two months. He had a prophecy: if he died, he would be dead; but if you do not die - then come back and finally get a rest after labor. But here also passed the year and two months, and it is not all. Did the prophecy come true, and he died from some dead person, and will not come back to live his days alone beside her? The chorus of the Trachynyanka encourages her: no, although there is joy and misery in everyday life, but Father Zeus will not leave Hercules! Then Deyanir calls his son Gill and asks him to go to search for his father. He is ready: a rumor has already come to him that Hercules spent a year in slavery at Omfali, and then went on a campaign to Echaloy - to take revenge on the king-offender. And Gill goes to look for him under Echaloy.
As soon as Gill leaves, as in fact, the rumor is confirmed: the Heralds come from the messengers - to say about the victory and the close return. They are two, and they are not faceless, as usual in tragedies: each has its own character. The elder of them leads a group of silent prisoners: yes, Heracles served his year at Omfali, and then he went to Ehalia, took the city, captured the prisoners and sent them to the Dejanir's slaves, and he himself should bring grateful sacrifices to the gods and immediately afterwards. Deanery is sorry for the captives: just that they were noble and rich, and now they are slave. Deanira talks to one of them, the most beautiful, but he is silent. Deanir sends them to the house - and then the second messenger approaches her. "The elder told you not the whole truth. Hercules did not take Ehalia from the revenge, but from love to the prince Iole: this you are talking to her now, and she was silent. " Reluctantly the senior messenger will admit: this is so "Yes," says Deanir, "love is God, man is powerless before him." Wait a little: I'll give you a gift for Hercules."
The choir sings a song for the glory of omnipotent love. And then Deanir tells the brawlers about her present for Hercules: this is the cloak she wiped the same blood of Nessa to return Heracles love, because it is a shame for her to divide Hercules with her opponent. "Is this reliable?" The choir asks. "I'm sure, but I have not tried." - "There is little confidence, experience is needed". - "Now will be". And she passes to the messenger a closed robe with a cloak: let Hercules dull it, when he will bring grateful sacrifices to the gods.
The choir sings a joyful song in honor of the returning Hercules. But Deanir is in fear. She rubbed a raincoat with a piece of sheep's wool, and then threw that bloody stick on the ground - and suddenly, she says, he boiled in the sun with a dark foam and grows on the ground with a reddish-brown spot. Is not the trouble? did not her centaur deceive? did not it spark it instead of a spell? Indeed, the choir does not have time to calm down, as Gill suddenly steps in: "You killed Hercules, you killed my father!" And he says: Hercules put on a cloak, Hercules slaughtered sacrificial bulls, Hercules burnt a bonfire for a burnt offering - but when the fire drowned the heat on the cloak, as if adhering to his body, hurled pain to the bones like fire or serpentine poison, and Hercules fell in ruts, cursed with a cry and a cloak, and the one who sent him. Now they are carried on a stroller in Trakhin, but will they be alive?
Deanery silently listens to this story, turns and hides in the house. The choir sang in horror about the impending misfortune. The vendor runs out - the old nurse Deanery: Deanir killed herself. In her tears, she walked around the house, forgave with the altars of the gods, kissed the doors and thresholds, sat on the marriage bed, and sneaked the sword into her left breast. Gill was in despair - she could not stop her. The chorus in double horror: death Deanery in the house, the death of Hercules at the gate, what's more terrible?
The end is approaching. Hercules are inflicted on a stretcher with fierce screams: the winner of the monsters, the most powerful of the mortals, he perishes from the woman and calls to his son: "Otvist!" In the intervals between groans, Gill explains to him: Dejaniry is no longer, her fault is involuntary, this She was once deceived by an evil centaur. Now Hercules is clear: the prophecies have come to pass, it is he who perishes from the dead, and the rest that awaits him is death. He orders his son: "Here are my last two covenants: the first - bring me to Mount Eto and put on a funeral feast; the second one - that Iola, which I did not manage to take for myself, take you so that she will be the herds of the mother of my descendants. " Gill in horror: to burn his father alive, to marry the one who is the cause of death both Hercules and Deanir? But he can not resist Heracles. Hercules are demolished; no one else knows that from this fire he will ascend to heaven and become a god. Gill goes with him in words:
"There is no one available to the future to grow old, / But alas, the present is sorrowful to us / And it is shameful to the gods, / And it's all the harder it is for / Who fell a fatal victim."
And the choir echoes: "Let's go now and we are at home: / We saw a terrible death, / And a lot of torment, unprecedented torment, - / But for all there was Zeus's will."