Alcestis and Other Plays
Euripides' tragedies proved highly controversial even in his own lifetime, presenting his audience with unexpected twists of plot and violently extreme emotions; for many of today's readers and spectators, he seems almost uncannily modern in his insights. Euripides was the key figure in transforming the familiar figures of Greek mythology from awe-inspiring but remote heroes into recognizable, fallible human beings. His characters, all superbly eloquent, draw on fierce contemporary debates about the nature of justice, politics and religion. His women are perhaps the most sympathetically and powerfully presented in ancient literature. Alcestis, the dramatist's first surviving work, is less harrowing than the others, almost a tragicomedy. The Children of Heracles examines the conflict between might and right, while Hippolytus and Medea, two of his greatest plays, reveal his profound understanding of destructive passion. This new translation into dignified English prose makes one of the greatest of Greek writers accessible once again to a wide public.
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Preface to Medea
Preface to Hippolytus
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admetus aegeus Aeschylus Alcestis alcmene anger Antistrophe Aphrodite Apollo Argive Argos Artemis Athenian Athens audience blood bring characters Children of Heracles chorus Strophe chorus-leader Corinth Creon curse Cyprian daughter dead death demophon Dionysus divine drama earth enemies Euripides Eurystheus exile eyes fate father friends gifts girl give goddess gods Greece Greek tragedy grief Hades hands happiness hate hear heart herald hero Hippolytus honour human husband Hyllus iolaus Iolcus jason kill king lady land live look marriage master medea messenger misery misfortune mistress mortal mother Mycenae myth mythical never noble nurse oracle pain palace Peloponnese phaedra pheres Pittheus pity play royal scene servant shame song Sophocles sorrow speak speech Strophe suffering suppliants tears tell terrible Theseus Thessaly things thought troubles Trozen turn tutor wife wish woman women words wretched young Zeus