Euripides Our Contemporary

Overview

In this accessible and beautifully written study of Euripides, the first study of all the plays of Euripides for thirty years, J. Michael Walton provides a wide-ranging appreciation of the playwright’s entire canon. Euripides Our Contemporary treats these ancient dramas as vital engagements with issues of a moral, social, psychological, and political nature, as significant today as when the works were first performed. Walton moves with expert familiarity through all the plays, emphasizing what Euripides might ...

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Overview

In this accessible and beautifully written study of Euripides, the first study of all the plays of Euripides for thirty years, J. Michael Walton provides a wide-ranging appreciation of the playwright’s entire canon. Euripides Our Contemporary treats these ancient dramas as vital engagements with issues of a moral, social, psychological, and political nature, as significant today as when the works were first performed. Walton moves with expert familiarity through all the plays, emphasizing what Euripides might have to say to us as our “contemporary.” The book considers how Euripides finds parallels to ordinary life in the world of myth, how characters behave under extraordinary pressure and how personal responsibility may be absolved by circumstance, and discusses the nature of his theater, the great roles, and the playwrights most influenced by his work.

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Editorial Reviews

Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR)
“[A] stimulating and enjoyable work.”
Comparative Drama
“[Walton’s] easy familiarity with the material and his enthusiasm for the theatrical possibilities that Euripides continues to offer are infectious.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520261822
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/26/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Michael Walton is a theater historian, translator, and director, and Emeritus Professor of Drama at the University of Hull. His books on Greek tragedy include Greek Theatre Practice, The Greek Sense of Theatre: Tragedy Revived, and Found in Translation: Greek Drama in English.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

I Domesticating Tragedy

1 Playmaker and Image-Breaker 11

2 The Family Saga: Phoenician Women, Bacchae, Iphigeneia at Aulis 29

3 Women and Men: Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytus 44

4 The Comic Touch: Cyclops, Ion, Orestes, Electra, Bacchae, Children of Heracles, Helen 62

II Powerful Forces: The Grand Passions

5 War and the Military: Rhesus, Trojan Women, Suppliants, Iphigeneia at Aulis 81

6 Revenge: Electra, Hecuba, Children of Heracles, Andromache, Medea 97

7 Immortals and Mortals: Alcestis, Iphigeneia Among the Taurians, Electra, Rhesus, Ion, Hippolytus, Bacchae 115

8 Sanity, Madness and Responsibility: Orestes, Heracles, Bacchae, Electra 131

III Theatre Theatrical

9 Playing the Game: Illusion and Reality: Hecuba, Suppliants, Ion, Rhesus, Helen, Bacchae 151

10 Great Roles: Medea, Alcestis, Heracles, Hippolytus, Iphigeneia at Aulis, Hecuba, Electra, Helen, Bacchae 168

11 Heirs to the Legacy: Shaw, Strindberg, Brecht, Pirandello, Anouilh, Sondheim, Frisch 192

Appendix: A plot summary of all nineteen surviving plays 213

Select Bibliography 235

Index 245

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