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Euripides: The Complete Plays, Volume IV / Edition 1
     

Euripides: The Complete Plays, Volume IV / Edition 1

by Euripides, Carl R. Mueller, Carl Richard Mueller
 

ISBN-10: 1575253747

ISBN-13: 9781575253749

Pub. Date: 10/01/2003

Publisher: Smith & Kraus, Inc.

Athens of the fifth century B.C.E. represents one of the towering achievements of civilization. It is the crucible in which Western Civilization was given form. It created democracy, not in its modern parliamentary or representative form, but a direct democracy, one in which the Athenian citizen governed himself, which is what democracy means: rule by the people.

Overview

Athens of the fifth century B.C.E. represents one of the towering achievements of civilization. It is the crucible in which Western Civilization was given form. It created democracy, not in its modern parliamentary or representative form, but a direct democracy, one in which the Athenian citizen governed himself, which is what democracy means: rule by the people. Along with this gift to civilization came trial by jury, and from there the flowering of a culture whose achievement has led the world ever since: Philosophy, sculpture, architecture, poetry-and by no means least-theater. Of the three supreme tragedians of Classical Athens, Aeschylus, in the first half of the century, took his tales largely from Homer and the Heroic World of war and warriors. Sophokles regarded man more humanistically, and created characters of grand moral integrity. Euripides, the last of the three, created his image of man less heroically, less idealistically. His image of man reflected what Athens became from mid-century onward: a super wealthy world power, a cruel colonist, and an ever-present danger to its Greek neighbors, a threat that precipitated the devastating Peloponnesian War (431-404) which was to end with the fall of Athens. The glory of Athens, then, from mid-century onward, degenerated fast into a world of collapsing political and moral structure, and this is the world that Euripides mirrors in his characters. His people are no longer the heroes of Aeschylus, the moral giants of Sophokles, but men who are frequently petty, conniving, small minded, out for themselves and their own aggrandizement. They are psychologically drawn, they are conflicted, they are frequently mad-in a word, they are us, if only we look deeply enough. Euripides is the most modern of the Greek tragedians.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781575253749
Publisher:
Smith & Kraus, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
351
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Euripides and the Athenian Theater of His Time
The Plays
A Note on the Translation
PHOENICIAN WOMEN
ORESTÊS
BAKKHAI
IPHIGENEIA IN AULIS
RHESOS
Glossary
Select Bibliography

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