Euripides was a brilliant and powerful innovator within the traditional framework of Attic drama.
The last of the three great Athenian dramatists, and during his lifetime perhaps the most controversial, Euripides was the first playwright to use the chorus as a commentator; the first to put contemporary language into the mouths of heroes; and the first to interpret human suffering without reference to the wisdom of gods.
The four plays in this volume all show Euripides to have been a man defiant of established beliefs, and preoccupied with the dichotomy between instinctive and civilized behaviour. And his daring interpretations of ancient myths are enhanced by his brilliance as a lyricist, for Euripides' choral odes are among the most beautiful ever written. Reading plays such as these, it is not difficult to appreciate Aristotle's admiration of him as the most 'tragic' of the Greek poets.
@GoldenFarce Good, the gals stand outside my house all the time. The constant chanting is creepy, but all agree: Jason crossing the line!
When he gets home we’ll talk. I’m sure we can work it out. But what’s the best way to approach this? Any advice, anyone? #wackrelationships
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About the Author
Table of ContentsMedea and Other PlaysIntroduction
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Better than Aeschylus, outclassed by Sophocles. Medea, Electra, Hecabe and Heracles all wallow in pathos, with wailing and weeping trending toward the shrill at times. Euripides' characters show occasional subtlety when they expound on human nature, especially in a couple of cases when women's psyches are described in almost non-misogynistic ways. Revenge and the culpability of the gods' judgment are pervasive themes.
Medea itself I studied for my Open University course, but the others I had not come across before. The editor has done well to group these four plays together - they share so much in common. Not only do all of them concern the death of children or parents, but stylistically they are very similar: the action all takes place off stage, and from a single location, and then the horrors are reported back to the audience by way of a messenger and the Chorus. An excellent introduction to Greek plays.
Medea, for those who have not read it, is the living embodiment of a classic. This near-epic play by Euripedes captures the very essence of a Greek tragedy, including such classic elements as royalty, love lost, and murder. In this play, the mythical figure of Medea, an underdeveloped expatriate sorceress, is finally given an opportunity to be a central character. The actual text of the play, making only perfunctory reference to her history as a Colchan priestess, centers around her disillusionment with her husband, Jason. Jason, unfaithful to Medea, has sparked a fury within the woman that will not cease until retribution has been paid. There are several interesting elements about he book. First, the plot is revealed, more or less, through the eyes of a woman, a rarety in ancient Greek culture. This provides a unique opportunity to view the manner in whihc Greeks viewed females, even vastly powerful mythical females. Secondly, the author, Euripedes, makes Medea the heroine of the play, something seldom done to a conniving, murdering, trecherous character. Despite the obvious flaws that exist in Medea's character, the author saw fit to play down these traits, focusing instead on Medea's justification: her rage, her feelings of insecurity, her rightous anger. And somehow, Medea, for all her crimes, comes off without entirely being cast as the villan. I would highly recommend this play to anybody interested in classical works or Greek mythology. The play is not a long read; rather, the action (and there is a lot) is compressed into tightly charged bundles of literary insight, infusing readers with the tension and weighty drama of the piece. This play is too good of a read to pass up.