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After thus tracing the mind of the Chorus, we can see
Why the Chorus is so constituted.
more clearly why it is composed of Theban elders. When the chief person of a Greek tragedy is a woman, the Chorus usually consists of women, whose attitude towards the heroine is more or less sympathetic. Such is the case in the Electra and the Trachiniae, and in seven plays of Euripides,—the Andromache, Electra, Hecuba, Helena, both Iphigeneias, and Medea. The Chorus of the Alcestis, indeed, consists of Pheraean elders: but then Alcestis is withdrawn from the scene at an early moment, and restored to it only at the end: during the rest of the play, the interest is centred in Admetus. In the Antigone, Sophocles had a double reason for constituting the Chorus as he did. First, the isolation of the heroine would have been less striking if she had been supported by a group of sympathetic women. Secondly, the natural predisposition of the Theban nobles to support their king heightens the dramatic effect of their ultimate conversion.

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