Euripides’ Posthuman Vision in the Fragmentary Tragedy «Protesilaus»

From the 1969 production of the play Protesilaus and Laodameia by Polish playwright Stanisław Wyspiański. Image by Grażyna Wyszomirska. Source:

Andriana Domouzi (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

Time and place: Aug. 20, 2024

4:15 PM – 6:00 PM

Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo

This lecture will present Protesilaus, one of Euripides’ tragedies that has survived only in fragments, and the tragedian’s inventive manipulation of the myth of the Thessalian hero who was the first to die at Troy.

What do we know about this lost play? How did Euripides innovate on the myth? There are allusions that Euripides must have presented Protesilaus with a divergent range of posthuman natures, all within the same play. Posthuman theory has been applied to classical studies over the last years, as an increasing number of posthuman features is being identified and discussed in classical literature. Protesilaus will thus be explored in conjunction with its posthuman features, including the feature of artificiality.

This fragmentary tragedy seems to have included an artificial lover that was Protesilaus’ effigy; while Protesilaus was away at Troy, his wife Laodameia ordered an effigy of himself for her own use. The tragedy deploys when more than one of Protesilaus’ posthuman natures exist simultaneously, namely, the effigy – which Laodameia adored as if it really was Protesilaus – and the resurrected Protesilaus, with a catastrophic outcome. Protesilaus is perhaps the only tragic hero that was simultaneously tangible and intangible, due to the concurrent presence of two different natures of himself – none of which was the corporeal Protesilaus.

The lecture will emphasise how Euripides seems to have theatrically conceptualised a number of early posthuman concepts which can be traced in the features of corporeality (the actual Protesilaus), materiality (Protesilaus’ effigy) and immateriality (the resurrected Protesilaus or the ‘ghost’ of Protesilaus), all at the same time.

Dr Andriana Domouzi is Postdoctoral Researcher in Classics and Theatre Studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

The event is open to the general public, and everyone interested is happily invited to attend. For those wishing to attend via Zoom, please send an email to Silvio Bär in order to receive the login details. (For those wishing to attend in person, no registration is required.)

After the event, we will head to Café Eckers for drinks and further informal discussion. Everyone is welcome to join in (pay your own expenses).


Silvio Bär

Euripides’ Posthuman Vision in the Fragmentary Tragedy «Protesilaus» – Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas (

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