Certain gods in Euripides, Hippolytos and Herakles exhibit a high level of control over mortals. Each play has one primary god whose statements of will, identity, and offense control the actions of other characters. Each play features a distinct god/human dialectic, in which certain actions performed by mortals threaten or affirm divine identity, as defined by the primary god or her surrogates. Secondary gods react to the primary god's will and in so doing help assert/re-assert the primary god's identity, as does mortal suffering. I apply Austin's concept of perlocution, an utterance's action or effect, to define divine motivation and control. In both plays, the primary god's statements of will and identity have perlocutionary force in the motivation of mortal actions. Mortal offenses toward the gods similarly motivate divine revenge. Through the perlocutive effect of divine will, mortal characters perform divine identity, through bodily suffering and death.
Classics, Ancient Drama, Tragedy, Euripides
Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
Level of Degree
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
First Committee Member (Chair)
Garcia, Lorenzo Jr.
Second Committee Member
Settle, Trigg. "Higher Powers: The Metrics of Divine Will and Agency in Euripides' Hippolytos and Herakles." (2012). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/fll_etds/92