Euripides: Medea

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 15, 2002 - Drama - 431 pages
3 Reviews
This up-to-date edition makes Euripides' most famous and influential play accessible to students of Greek reading their first tragedy as well as to more advanced students. The introduction analyzes Medea as a revenge-plot, evaluates the strands of motivation that lead to her tragic insistence on killing her own children, and assesses the potential sympathy of a Greek audience for a character triply marked as other (barbarian, witch, woman). A unique feature of this book is the introduction to tragic language and style. The text, revised for this edition, is accompanied by an abbreviated critical apparatus. The commentary provides morphological and syntactic help for inexperienced students and more advanced observations on vocabulary, rhetoric, dramatic techniques, stage action, and details of interpretation, from the famous debate of Medea and Jason to the 'unmotivated' entrance of Aegeus and the controversial monologue of Medea.

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About the author (2002)

Euripides was born in Attica, Greece probably in 480 B.C. He was the youngest of the three principal fifth-century tragic poets. 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. Fragments of about fifty-five plays survive. Among his best-known plays are Alcestis, Medea and Philoctetes, Electra, Iphigenia in Tauris, The Trojan Women, and Iphigenia in Aulis Iphigenia. He died in Athens in 406 B.C.

Donald Mastronarde is Melpomene Distinguished Professor of Classical Languages and Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.

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