The story of Iphigénie has clear comparisons with the story of Abraham and Isaac, where a god asks for the sacrifice of a child by a parent, but in this particular climate in which I write, where the world has stopped due to the COVID-19 virus, I can't help but make a comparison with this play. Iphigénie is about a stalled society, the Greeks wait for a wind to set sail for Troy, but the goddess Diane has made it clear that no wind will arrive until Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter Iphigénie. This is clearly a difficult decision for Agamemnon, where does his loyalty lie? To his family or to his country? The Greek soldiers demand the blood of Iphigénie so that they may continue with their lives, and eventually she volunteers herself to be sacrificed. Often in the plays of this period we see the struggle between the needs of the many and the needs of the few, a struggle which is all to present for us in the midst of this crisis, but the moral of Iphigénie gives us hope. Diane whisks the girl away at the moment of her sacrifice, appearing t the Greeks to tell them that her willingness to sacrifice others was all that was necessary, and now the Greeks may sail forth to Troy. For us as well, we must all be willing to sacrifice for others, and that this is the only way society may move forward.
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M.A. French Literature Florida State University