Series Copy Based on the conviction that only translators who write poetry themselves can properly recreate the celebrated and timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, The Greek Tragedies in New Translations series offers new translations that go beyond the literal meaning of the Greek in order to evoke the poetry of the originals. Under the editorship of Herbert Golder and the late William Arrowsmith, each volume includes a critical introduction, commentary on the text, full stage directions, and a glossary of the mythical and geographical references in the plays. One of Euripides' late plays, Ion is a complex enactment of the changing relations between the human and divine orders and the way in which our understanding of the gods is mediated and re-visioned by myths. The story begins years before the play begins, with the rape of the mortal Kreousa, queen of Athens, by Apollo. Kreousa bears Apollos' child in secret then abandons it. Unbeknownst to her, Apollo has the child brought to his temple at Delphi to be reared by the priestess as ward of the shrine. Many years later, Kreousa, now married to the foreigner Xouthos but childless, comes to Delphi seeking prophecy about children. Apollo, however, speaking through the oracle, bestows the temple ward, Ion, on Xouthos as his child. Enraged, Kreousa conspires to kill as an interloper the very son she has despaired of finding. After mother and son both try to kill each other, the priestess reveals the birth tokens that permit Kreousa to recognize and embrace the child she thought was dead. Ion discovers the truth of his parentage and departs for Athens, as a mixed blood of humanity and divinity, to participate in the life of the polis. In Ion, disturbing riptides of thought and feeling run just below the often shimmering surfaces of Euripidean melodrama. Although the play contains some of Euripides' most beautiful lyrical writing, it quivers throughout with near disasters, poorly informed actions and misdirected intentions that almost result in catastrophe. Kreousa says at one point that good and evil do not mix, but Euripides' argument, and what the youthful Ion strives to understand, is that human beings are not only compounded of good and evil, but that the two are often the same thing differently experienced, differently understood, just as beauty and violence are mixed both in the gods and in the mortal world.
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IonUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Marked by deep irony, Euripides's Ion resists easy classification. Set in Delphi, the play involves the childless Kreousa and Xouthos, who ask Apollo for a son. In a cosmic joke, the god presents them ... Read full review
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Achaeans Aglauros Aiolos altar ancestor Apollo Apollo's shrine Apollo's temple Athenian Athens autochthony baby birds blood born cave childless Chimaera chorus claim cult name dance daughter of Erechtheus death Delos Delphi Demeter Dionysos divine Doros earth Earth's children earthborn Eleusis Erichthonios Euboea Euripidean Euripides father feast four Ionian tribes garlands giants gift Gigantomachy girl give god's goddess golden Gorgon happy Herakles Hermes hide house of Erechtheus human husband Iolaos Ion's irony keep Kekrops Kephisos kill king kreousa laurel Leto Long Rocks messenger monsters mother Mount Parnassos murder myth Neoptolemos never numbers offer oracle Pegasos Persephone Phoibos pity play plot poison Poseidon Praxithea precinct prophecy purity pythia queen rape revealed sacred sacrifice scene secret share sings slave snakes song speak stage directions stasimon story tell There's things torchlight translator violence what's wife wine woman words Xouthos
Page 9 - Earthborns and Olympians: The Parodos of the Ion," Classical Quarterly 27 (1977): 284-94.