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Alcestis and Other Plays : Penguin Classics ; L31 - Euripides

Alcestis and Other Plays

Penguin Classics ; L31

By: Euripides

Paperback Published: 28th November 1974
ISBN: 9780140440317
Number Of Pages: 192

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One of the greatest playwrights of Ancient Greece, the works of Euripides (484 406 BC) were revolutionary in their depiction of tragic events caused by flawed humanity, and in their use of the gods as symbols of human nature. The three plays in this collection show his abilities as the sceptical questioner of his age. Alcestis, an early drama, tells the tale of a queen who offers her own life in exchange for that of her husband; cast as a tragedy, it contains passages of satire and comedy. The tragicomedy Iphigenia in Tauris melodramatically reunites the ill-fated children of Agamemnon, while the pure tragedy of Hippolytus shows the fatal impact of Phaedra's unreasoning passion for her chaste stepson. All three plays explore a deep gulf that separates man from woman, and all depict a world dominated by amoral forces beyond human control.

About The Author

Euripides, the youngest of the three great Athenian playwrights, was born around 485 BC of a family of good standing. He first competed in the dramatic festivals in 455 BC, coming only third; his record of success in the tragic competitions is lower than that of either Aeschylus or Sophocles. There is a tradition that he was unpopular, even a recluse; we are told that he composed poetry in a cave by the sea, near Salamis. What is clear from contemporary evidence, however, is that audiences were fascinated by his innovative and often disturbing dramas. His work was controversial already in his lifetime, and he himself was regarded as a ‘clever’ poet, associated with philosophers and other intellectuals.

Towards the end of his life he went to live at the court of Archelaus, king of Macedon. It was during his time there that he wrote what many consider his greates work, the Bacchae. When news of his death reached Athens in early 406 BC, Sophocles appeared publicly in mourning for him. Euripides is thought to have written about ninety-two plays, of which seventeen tragedies and one satyr-play known to be his survive; the other play which is attributed to him, the Rhesus, may in fact be by a later hand.

General Introduction
Note on the Text
Chronological Table
Translator's Note
Preface to Alcestisp. 3
Alcestisp. 7
Preface to Medeap. 43
Medeap. 47
Preface to The Children of Heraclesp. 87
The Children of Heraclesp. 91
Preface to Hippolytusp. 125
Hippolytusp. 129
Explanatory Notesp. 167
Bibliographyp. 184
Glossary of Mythological and Geographical Namesp. 187
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780140440317
ISBN-10: 0140440313
Series: Penguin Classics ; L31
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 28th November 1974
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9  x 1.3
Weight (kg): 0.15
Edition Number: 1

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