Another look at Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's "Iphigenia".
Bloodshed has been done, bloodshed has been stopped, bloodshed is going to start all over again - right now. This is the mouth watering proposition our play starts with. The cast includes some Tantalides - so we should be in for a few hours of good, clean, X-rated fun. 'Cause, these guys are really GROSS! Born under a bad sign. It's in their blood. Just look at their family history - death by natural causes is an unknown concept for them. .
In today's episode the Tantalides have to fight the Skythians, well known barbarians despised by all civilized people for their stunning disregard of the law of hospitality. They may not be able to match up with our leading characters - they're simply not evil enough - but they sure are a wild, cruel bunch and should be good for a lot of action. Who knows, between them the parties may even throw in some of their specialties again: cannibalism for instance. And with more but one Tantalide included you can make a sure bet that at some point they will turn against each other with burning hate and deeply felt malice. So, watch out for Goethe's play!.
Well, that's how it should be. But that's not how it comes out. We're doomed to see nothing, and hear just talk talk talk going on. And whose fault is this? Well, you guys know. Iphigeneia, short: Iffi', 's to blame, a pillar of society, unblemished virgin and stronghhold of any virtue man can imagine. This girl is gonna spoil the entire plot. There will be no plot. Only talk.
So, the strange thing about this untragic tragedy is that nothing happens. Things do not go on as they always went. That is, it seems, a rousing success for the female gender, a great victory for humanity on the whole.
And it is also very boring.
But, is all that really the case?.
Or, to be more precise, is this what Goethe's "Iphigeneia- is about at all?.
I don't think so.
I rather think that the whole question of humanism' serves as a kind of surface under which the real, well-hidden problems of the play are treated.