Ion (Google eBook)
, Jan 1, 2004
Euripides (480 BC-406 BC) is revered as one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, along with Aeschylus and Sophocles, and produced the largest body of extant work by any ancient playwright. He is considered to be the most modern of the three, and his works laid the foundation for Western theatre. "Ion" interprets the legend of the orphan Ion, who was conceived from the rape of Creusa by the god Apollo. Creusa is determined to keep the rape secret, and leaves the baby for dead. The baby is rescued by Hermes, and raised by a Pythian Priestess in Delphi. Many years later, when Creusa and her husband Xuthus visit the oracles at Delphi, the mother and son are reunited under false pretenses. The ensuing story of betrayal, revenge and reconciliation exemplifies Euripides' clever ability to question the roles and fallibility of the gods in an emotional and beautifully written tale.