International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Trauma and World Literature: Moral Injury in The Trojan Women

06/01/2018
by Scott Janssen
Written during the slaughter of the Peloponnesian War which engulfed the Greek world in the fifth century BCE, Euripides’ play The Trojan Women is one of the most unsparing pieces of anti-war literature ever written. It takes place in the aftermath of the Trojan War which had occurred centuries earlier in which the Greeks defeated the Trojans. When the play opens the women of Troy huddle together awaiting their fates at the hands of the conquering Greeks. Euripides’ audience would have known that these women had seen their men butchered, temples profaned, and the body of their greatest warrior, Hector, desecrated in an unspeakable manner.

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