Electra and Other Plays

Euripides

Author Euripides
Introduction by Richard Rutherford
Translated by John Davie
Paperback
$14.00 US
5.1"W x 7.8"H x 0.57"D  
On sale Jan 01, 1999 | 224 Pages | 978-0-14-044668-5
| Grades 9-12 + AP/IB
Euripides, wrote Aristotle, ‘is the most intensely tragic of all the poets’. In his questioning attitude to traditional pieties, disconcerting shifts of sympathy, disturbingly eloquent evil characters and acute insight into destructive passion, he is also the most strikingly modern of ancient authors.

Written in the period from 426 to 415 BC, during the fierce struggle for supremacy between Athens and Sparta, these five plays are haunted by the horrors of war – and its particular impact on women. Only the Suppliants, with its extended debate on democracy and monarchy, can be seen as a patriotic piece. The Trojan Women is perhaps the greatest of all anti-war dramas; Andromache shows the ferocious clash between the wife and concubine of Achilles’ son Neoptolemos; while Hecabe reveals how hatred can drive a victim to an appalling act of cruelty. Electra develops (and parodies) Aeschylus’ treatment of the same story, in which the heroine and her brother Orestes commit matricide to avenge their father Agamemnon. As always, Euripides presents the heroic figures of mythology as recognizable, often very fallible, human beings. Some of his greatest achievements appear in this volume.

Little is known of the life of Euripides. He was born about 485 B.C. on the island of Salamis and may have begun a career as a painter before writing in the drama competitions in 455 B.C. During his lifetime his plays were often produced, but he won the Athenian drama prize only four times. He died in 406 B.C.

Euripides was a prolific writer, the author of some eighty-eight or more plays, of which nineteen have survived under his name. He was criticized by the conservatives of his time for introducing shabby heroes and immoral women into his plays, a practice that they considered degrading to the noble form of tragedy. However, audiences to whom his predecessors were cold and remote found Euripides direct and appealing.

Euripides became immensely popular after he died and his influence altered drama forever. Considered by George Bernard Shaw to be the greatest of the Greek dramatists, Euripides is now regarded by many as the originator of the dramatic sensibility that developed into what we call "modern" European drama. View titles by Euripides
Electra and Other PlaysGeneral Introduction
Note on the Text
Chronological Table
Translator's Note

Preface to Andromache
Andromache

Preface to Hecabe
Hecabe

Preface to Suppliant Women
Suppliant Women

Preface to Electra
Electra

Preface to Trojan Women
Trojan Women

Notes
Bibliography
Glossary of Mythological and Geographical Names

About

Euripides, wrote Aristotle, ‘is the most intensely tragic of all the poets’. In his questioning attitude to traditional pieties, disconcerting shifts of sympathy, disturbingly eloquent evil characters and acute insight into destructive passion, he is also the most strikingly modern of ancient authors.

Written in the period from 426 to 415 BC, during the fierce struggle for supremacy between Athens and Sparta, these five plays are haunted by the horrors of war – and its particular impact on women. Only the Suppliants, with its extended debate on democracy and monarchy, can be seen as a patriotic piece. The Trojan Women is perhaps the greatest of all anti-war dramas; Andromache shows the ferocious clash between the wife and concubine of Achilles’ son Neoptolemos; while Hecabe reveals how hatred can drive a victim to an appalling act of cruelty. Electra develops (and parodies) Aeschylus’ treatment of the same story, in which the heroine and her brother Orestes commit matricide to avenge their father Agamemnon. As always, Euripides presents the heroic figures of mythology as recognizable, often very fallible, human beings. Some of his greatest achievements appear in this volume.

Author

Little is known of the life of Euripides. He was born about 485 B.C. on the island of Salamis and may have begun a career as a painter before writing in the drama competitions in 455 B.C. During his lifetime his plays were often produced, but he won the Athenian drama prize only four times. He died in 406 B.C.

Euripides was a prolific writer, the author of some eighty-eight or more plays, of which nineteen have survived under his name. He was criticized by the conservatives of his time for introducing shabby heroes and immoral women into his plays, a practice that they considered degrading to the noble form of tragedy. However, audiences to whom his predecessors were cold and remote found Euripides direct and appealing.

Euripides became immensely popular after he died and his influence altered drama forever. Considered by George Bernard Shaw to be the greatest of the Greek dramatists, Euripides is now regarded by many as the originator of the dramatic sensibility that developed into what we call "modern" European drama. View titles by Euripides

Table of Contents

Electra and Other PlaysGeneral Introduction
Note on the Text
Chronological Table
Translator's Note

Preface to Andromache
Andromache

Preface to Hecabe
Hecabe

Preface to Suppliant Women
Suppliant Women

Preface to Electra
Electra

Preface to Trojan Women
Trojan Women

Notes
Bibliography
Glossary of Mythological and Geographical Names

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