Abstract

Because of the opposition of Ion’s Apollonian bow to Dionysian birds, the birds of Ion’s monody can be read as portents that correct the misapprehensions giving rise to the tragic plot, that Creusa’s child was eaten by birds and that Ion is Xuthus’ son, conceived in a Bacchic revel. These unread bird signs underline human ignorance, and similar Dionysian bird imagery serves the same function in the scenes of attempted kin-murder, the zenith of human ignorance in the Ion. But the birds’ ambiguity also signals the interdependence of Ion’s Apollonian and Dionysian identities in his future position at Athens.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9234
Print ISSN
0009-8418
Pages
pp. 475-489
Launched on MUSE
2017-08-09
Open Access
No
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