This is an English translation of Euripides' tragedy Hecuba about Hecuba's grief over her daughter and son's deaths and the revenge she enacts over her son's death. Focus Classical Library provides close translations with notes and essays to provide access to understanding Greek culture. Euripides' Hecuba is one of the few tragedies that evoke a sense of utter desolation and destruction in the audience. The drama focuses on the status of women, those who are out of power and at the margins of society, by enacting the sufferings of Hecuba. With the city of Troy fallen, Hecuba and Polyxena, her daughter, are enslaved to Agamemnon. Hecuba is despondent with the news that Polyxena is chosen to be sacrificed at the tomb of Achilles. After the sacrifice, the body of her son Polydorus, already a ghost at the start of the drama, is discovered. Polymestor, a king in Thrace who Hecuba sent Polydorus to for safety reasons, murdered Polydorus for his gold. With the tacit complicity of Agamemnon, Hecuba plots her revenge against Polymestor. What transpires next has lasting implications for all involved, including a dramatic trial scene and Hecuba's ultimate metamorphosis.
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The Structure of Euripides Hecuba
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Achaeans Achilles action actors Aeschylus Agamemnon aidds antistrophe Apollo Argives Athenian Assembly Athenian democracy Athens audience Bacchants blinded Cassandra characters Choral Song chorus City Dionysia corpse daughter dead death debate demands depicted deuteragonist Euripidean drama Euripides eyes father favor festival fifth century friends ghost gods gold Greek drama Greek tragedy Gregory guest guest-friend Hades hand Hector Hecuba HECUBA Oh Helen hero Hippolytus Homer honor human Iliad Ilium Iphigenia justice kharis killed knees lament lyric Medea miserable monody moral mother murder myth necessity Odysseus Oedipus Oh child Paris Peloponnesian pity Polydorus Polymestor Polyxena Priam protagonist reciprocity robes sacrifice of Polyxena SERVING MAID shame skene slave slavery sons Sophocles Sparta speak spear speech strophe suffering Suppliant supplication Talthybius tents Theater of Dionysus themes things Thrace Thracian Thucydides tomb tragic drama translation trial scene Trojan women troubles Troy's vengeance warriors woman words wretched xenia Zeus