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Euripides V: Electra, The Phoenician Women, The Bacchae (The Complete Greek Tragedies) (Vol 5) Second Edition Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226307848
ISBN-10: 0226307840
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Euripides (c. 480 – 406 BCE) wrote some ninety plays, nineteen of which have survived.


David Grene (1913–2002) taught classics for many years at the University of Chicago. He was a founding member of the Committee on Social Thought and coedited the University of Chicago Press’s prestigious series The Complete Greek Tragedies.



Richmond Lattimore (1906–1984) was a poet, translator, and longtime professor of Greek at Bryn Mawr College.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 227 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Second Edition edition (January 15, 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226307840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226307848
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The three plays presented in "Euripides V" are all important works: Electra, The Phoenician Women, and The Bacchae.

The editors are David Grene (who translated and provided the Introduction to "The History" by Herodotus) and Richmond Lattimore. Both are well reputed scholars of the classics. Before each play, they provide useful context and critical evaluations of the work. Emily Townsend Vermeule provides a competent translation.

The works stand or fall on the basis of the original quality of the plays and the competence of the translation. As such, each of the plays is worthwhile. The editors do a nice job of providing critical analysis (note some of the comparisons between Sophocles and Euripides).

In the end, this is a useful version of the three plays and a nice entree to the work of one of the great Greek tragedians. The work closes with a nice chronology of the plays of Euripides. In the final analysis, well done.
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To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this volume. It's the last of Euripides', perhaps, I thought, the place to stick all the plays that no one will ever get to. However, the 'Bacchae' was an especially enjoyable read, a great way to end my reading of Greek tragedy.

As usual, this volume presents excellent translations, but lacks proper footnotes to explain passing mythological references to the reader.
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After reading the introduction to this series, I expected something much more fractured than what I encountered on the page; however, I found Euripides' style in this work to be very coherent. After reading Aeschylus, I noticed the aesthetic jump that Euripides had taken via the psychological subtext inherent in his characters. Whereas reading Aeschylus felt flat (although I enjoyed "Agamemnon"); there was too much exposition in Aeschylus; too much that did not expedite the forward motion of his plays. Whereas with Euripides, one is transported directly into the action that is happening in the present moment of the play, by means of the narrative, as well as the dialogue. Also noteworthy is Euripides' technique of having the characters exchange one-liners in dialogue. Although I immediately connected to all of the dramas in this edition, "The Bacchae" is a standout. It's a dark, crazy, absurd and even funny play; the highlight being the "Celebrity Death Match" between Pentheus and Dionysus. As grim as scenario of "The Bacchae" is, it often reads like a comedy (the scene with Pentheus "in drag" after having been hypnotized by Dionysus is hysterical). Euripides was ahead of his time, avant-garde; therefore of the great and / or known Greek playwrights, he was the one who garnered the fewest prizes. I'm looking forward to reading "Hippolytus" in Euripides I of this series.

Stephen C. Bird, Author of "Hideous Exuberance"
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A readable translation of the plays of Euripides. Enough historical background is given in the foreword and the introductions to each play that the reader has a better grasp of the meaning of the play to those who viewed in antiquity. A bit conservative in the translation at times but nonetheless well done.
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