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This paper explores the circuit of mutual influence between tragedy and law in fifth-century Athens, focusing on the differences between tragic and legal concepts of intention and responsibility. In Antiphon 1 Against the Stepmother the speaker calls his stepmother Clytemnestra. By this pointed tragic allusion he hopes to prejudge the stepmother's liability. But the stepmother also evokes another, more sympathetic, tragic model, Sophocles' Deianira. The tension between these two dramatic models of female intent introduces tragic ambiguities into the legal brief and reveals both the possibilities and the dangers of tragedy as a vehicle for jurisprudential thought.