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Warum Iphigenie kein ,Flüchtling‘ ist

Überlegungen zur Aktualität eines Klassikers

Malte Hendrik Meyer

Pages 403 - 412

This article argues that the eponymous character of Goethe’s ‚Iphigenie auf Tauris‘ cannot be compared to present-day refugees, as recent studies have claimed. A close reading of the play rather reveals that although Agamemnon’s daughter is a stranger in the land of the allegedly barbaric Scythians, she neither acts as a victim inferior to her hosts nor does she herself consider her residence in Tauris as the result of a flight. Iphigenia’s conduct towards the Scythian King Thoas and the support of Orestes and Pylades actually illustrate how the Greek take advantage of the asymmetrical constellation leading to Thoas’s rhetorical defeat in the end and thereby unmask a form of behaviour which can be characterized as imperialistic from a post-colonial point of view.


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