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Women on the Edge: Four Plays (The New Classical Canon) Paperback – December 24, 1998

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415907743 ISBN-10: 0415907748

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Editorial Reviews

Review

I highly recommend this collection to anyone eager to encounter an innovative reading of Euripidean drama.
–Monica Silveira Cyrino, University of New Mexico Theatre Jounral, March 2003

...in a class by itself... This would make a fine text for advanced students of literature in translation or women in antiquity.
–Classical Outlook

This is not your grandfather's translation of Euripedes..... Provides a good introduction to feminist readings of these plays, accessible translations, helpful background material, and openness about the translators' methods... A valuable addition to translations of Euripidean tragedy..
Bryn Mawr Classical Review, October 1999, Volume 40

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (December 24, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415907748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415907743
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,036,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I picked up this book on a recommendation from a friend who is in the midst of a Greek tragedy extravaganza. She's been reading The Iliad and read part of this book in line with it. What caught my interest was her description of Euripides' Helen, which explores the idea that perhaps Helen was not in Troy. Perhaps the woman in Troy was a facsimile of her. If this was the case, what kind of life would the real Helen be living tucked away in a far-off land, knowing that a war was being fought over her but never knowing the specifics? I was intrigued.

I'd never read Euripides, and I have a solid lay knowledge of Greek myth but I am certainly no classicist. This volume of four of Euripides' surviving tragedies is perfectly interpretable for someone like me with an interest and passing knowledge of the subject at hand but no expertise. Drawing from their feminist traditions, the authors root each of the plays firmly in the socio-cultural context in which they developed: the book begins with an in-depth historical survey of Athens and Athenian life at the time Euripides was writing his plays, and a more specific and detailed historical analysis is presented as an introduction for each of the four plays (Alcestis, Medea, Helen and Iphigenia at Aulis). I was expecting the introductions to be dry, and to be either pitched too low or too high for me in terms of content, but the introductions are well-organized, and therefore clear and easily navigable, well-written, and comprehensive in terms of the depth and breadth of information presented.

The translations of the plays themselves were obviously done with care. They read well, and they read easily. There seemed to be little attempt to 'prettify' the language, to make the dialogue stately and stuffy, which I appreciated.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jacalyn Royce on April 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
The students in my theatre history class consistently rate this book as the best of all that we read. The translations are honest, accessible and, best of all, performable. Mary-Kay Gamel's translation of Iphigenia At Aulis is a revelation. In addition, the book's introduction and individual prefaces to the plays provide an excellent background on Athenian culture and theater in general, and on the significance of women as characters and audience in particular. I recommend Women On The Edge for classes like mine and as a scholarly work, but I also feel that anyone interested in Euripides and ancient Athens will appreciate this book.
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