Helen

Front Cover
Univesity of Massachussetts Press/Eurospan, 1986 - Fiction - 112 pages
0 Reviews
"The Helen of this play never goes to Troy, but is carried to Egypt, where she remains during and after the Trojan War, waiting faithfully for her husband Menelaus to rescue her. Meanwhile, Helen of Troy - a mere phantom fashioned by the gods - has blighted the real Helen's life with undeserved hatred, since she cannot escape blame for destruction and death in which she had no part, or rather a part in name only. In Euripides' hands this premise suggests a world in which nothing is precisely what it seems. Helen plays with the confusion of appearance and reality in ways that are by turns amusing and disturbing, playful and full of serious quandaries. Whether understood as tragedy or (as some critics prefer) something more like philosophical divertissement or romantic comedy, Helen has increasingly been recognized as an intellectually challenging and emotionally satisfying dramatic masterpiece."--BOOK JACKET.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1986)

Euripides, one of the three great Greek tragedians was born in Attica probably in 485 B.C. of well-to-do parents. In his youth he cultivated gymnastic pursuits and studied philosophy and rhetoric. Soon after he received recognition for a play that he had written, Euripides left Athens for the court of Archelaus, king of Macedonia. In his tragedies, Euripides represented individuals not as they ought to be but as they are. His excellence lies in the tenderness and pathos with which he invested many of his characters. Euripides' attitude toward the gods was iconoclastic and rationalistic; toward humans-notably his passionate female characters-his attitude was deeply sympathetic. In his dramas, Euripides separated the chorus from the action, which was the first step toward the complete elimination of the chorus. He used the prologue as an introduction and explanation. Although Euripides has been charged with intemperate use of the deus ex machina, by which artifice a god is dragged in abruptly at the end to resolve a situation beyond human powers, he created some of the most unforgettable psychological portraits. Fragments of about fifty-five plays survive; some were discovered as recently as 1906. Among his best-known plays are Alcestis (438 B.C.), Medea and Philoctetes (431 B.C.), Electra (417 B.C.), Iphigenia in Tauris (.413 B.C.), The Trojan Women (415 B.C.), and Iphigenia in Aulis Iphigenia (c.405 B.C.). Euripides died in Athens in 406. Shortly after his death his reputation rose and has never diminished.

Bibliographic information