Of the many reasons, religious, aesthetic, and technical, generally adduced to explain the apparent reluctance of Greek tragedians to represent the moment of death on the stage, none seems to me to give sufficient weight to certain dramatic exigencies internal to the context of the plays themselves in which such deaths occur. The issue has too often been obscured by tenuous assumptions about the scarcity of professional actors (as if the total pool of professionals which the dramatist could draw upon was restricted to three), religious taboos associated with the celebration of the Great Dionysia and other festivals, the squeamishness of Greek theatre audiences, or the practical difficulties of stage management. It is not my intention to discuss these assumptions in detail. Some of them have already been effectively refuted, others may in fact have influenced consciously or unconsciously the presentation of particular death scenes. For no one denies that there are many problems connected with the presentation of death on the stage, and even the modern playwright, in spite of all the illusionist resources of the modern theatre, may well boggle at the attempt. Further, the passage from life to death must seem at a certain level a trivial activity in comparison with the tremendous impact it has on the dead person's immediate circle of friends and relations. Violent death and its gory accompaniments may well appeal to sensational melodrama but the Greek dramatist could justly have considered its representation per se as μιαρόν and ἀτεχνότατον τῆς ποιητικῆς. However, the real point at issue is whether the Greek tragedian went out of his way to get round the presentation of the moment of death for reasons external to the dramatic context. I shall try to show in this paper that whenever a character is apparently hustled out of sight for the purpose of being killed, some internal dramatic consideration was in fact uppermost in the playwright's mind.