Overview

In the Alcestis, the title character sacrifices her own life to save that of her husband, Admetus, when he is presented with the opportunity to have someone die in his place. Alcestis compresses within itself both tragedy and its apparent reversal, staging in the process fascinating questions about gender roles, family loyalties, the nature of heroism, and the role of commemoration.
Alcestis is Euripides's earliest complete work and his only surviving play from the period ...
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Euripides: Alcestis

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Overview

In the Alcestis, the title character sacrifices her own life to save that of her husband, Admetus, when he is presented with the opportunity to have someone die in his place. Alcestis compresses within itself both tragedy and its apparent reversal, staging in the process fascinating questions about gender roles, family loyalties, the nature of heroism, and the role of commemoration.
Alcestis is Euripides's earliest complete work and his only surviving play from the period preceding the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. Currently dominant post-structuralist models of Greek tragedy focus on its 'oppositional' role in the discourse of war and public values. This study challenges not only this politicised model of tragic discourse but also both traditional masculinist and more recent feminist readings of the discourse and performance of gender in this remarkable play.
The play survived in the performance repertoire of antiquity into the Roman period. Euripides' version strongly influenced the reception of the myth through the middles ages into the Renaissance, and the story enjoyed a lively afterlife through opera. Alcestis' contested reception in the last two centuries charts our changing understanding of tragedy.
Niall Slater's study explores the reception and afterlife of the play, as well as its main themes, the myth before the play, the play's historical and social context and the central developments in modern criticism.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780934747
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 10/24/2013
  • Series: Companions to Greek and Roman Tragedy
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • File size: 701 KB

Meet the Author

Niall W. Slater is S. C. Dobbs Professor of Latin and Greek in the Department of Classics at Emory University, USA.
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Table of Contents

1. 438 and All That
The Myth(s)
Production Conditions
2. The Action of the Play
Prologue
Parodos
Episode
First Stasimon
Episode
Second Stasimon
Episode
Third Stasimon
Episode
Kommos
Episode and Exodos
3. Themes of the Play
The House and the Door
Husband and Wife
Parents and Children
Xenia, Philia, and Charis
Life and Death
Lament
Fame and Infamy
Doubles and Opposites
Alcestis' Statue
Marriage, Remarriage - and Silence
4. Afterlives of an Afterlife
In Antiquity
From Late Antiquity to the Renaissance
From Shakespeare to the Nineteenth Century
The Twentieth Century
Chronology
Glossary
Guide to Further Reading
Bibliography
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