Women on the Edge: Four Plays

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Overview

Women on the Edge, a collection of Alcestis, Medea, Helen, and Iphegenia at Aulis, provides a broad sample of Euripides' plays focusing on women, and spans the chronology of his surviving works, from the earliest, to his last, incomplete, and posthumously produced masterpiece. Each play shows women in various roles?slave, unmarried girl, devoted wife, alienated wife, mother, daughter?providing a range of evidence about the kinds of meaning and effects the category woman conveyed in ancient Athens. The female ...

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Women on the Edge: Four Plays by Euripides

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Overview

Women on the Edge, a collection of Alcestis, Medea, Helen, and Iphegenia at Aulis, provides a broad sample of Euripides' plays focusing on women, and spans the chronology of his surviving works, from the earliest, to his last, incomplete, and posthumously produced masterpiece. Each play shows women in various roles—slave, unmarried girl, devoted wife, alienated wife, mother, daughter—providing a range of evidence about the kinds of meaning and effects the category woman conveyed in ancient Athens. The female protagonists in these plays test the boundaries—literal and conceptual—of their lives.

Although women are often represented in tragedy as powerful and free in their thoughts, speech and actions, real Athenian women were apparently expected to live unseen and silent, under control of fathers and husbands, with little political or economic power. Women in tragedy often disrupt "normal" life by their words and actions: they speak out boldly, tell lies, cause public unrest, violate custom, defy orders, even kill. Female characters in tragedy take actions, and raise issues central to the plays in which they appear, sometimes in strong opposition to male characters. The four plays in this collection offer examples of women who support the status quo and women who oppose and disrupt it; sometimes these are the same characters.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Presents new translations of Euripides' , , , and , by feminist women critics who use their renderings to reevaluate the classical dramas' attitudes toward women and issues of gender. Introductory chapters describe Athens' place in Greek culture, the cultural role of Athenian tragedy, women in Athens, and the life and posthumous canonization of the playwright. Each play also features an individual introduction by its translator. Recommended for classes on women in antiquity or in classical drama, and for anyone desiring a new approach to some well- travelled plays. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415907736
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Series: New Classical Canon Series
  • Pages: 512
  • Lexile: 1270L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruby Blondell is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Washington. Mary-Kay Gamel is Associate Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa-Cruz. Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz is Professor of Comparative Literature at Hamilton College. Bella Vivante is Senior Lecturer in Humanities at the University of Arizona.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
I Athens and Greek Culture 5
II Athenian Tragedy: A Civic Institution 24
III Women in Athens 48
IV Euripides 64
V The "Afterlife" of Euripides 83
Alcestis 91
Medea 147
Helen 217
Iphigenia at Aulis 303
Notes 391
References 479
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

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