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Ten Plays by Euripides Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1990

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The first playwright of democracy, Euripides wrote with enduring insight and biting satire about social and political problems of Athenian life. In contrast to his contemporaries, he brought an exciting--and, to the Greeks, a stunning--realism to the "pure and noble form" of tragedy. For the first time in history, heroes and heroines on the stage were not idealized: as Sophocles himself said, Euripides shows people not as they ought to be, but as they actually are.

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The first playwright of democracy, Euripides wrote with enduring insight and biting satire about social and political problems of Athenian life. In contrast to his contemporaries, he brought an exciting--and, to the Greeks, a stunning--realism to the "pure and noble form" of tragedy. For the first time in history, heroes and heroines on the stage were not idealized: as Sophocles himself said, Euripides shows people not as they ought to be, but as they actually are.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Classics; unknown edition (February 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553213636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553213638
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 24, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Euripides was the youngest and the least successful of the great triad of Greek tragic poets. Criticized by the conservatives of his time for introducing shabby heroes and immoral women into his plays, his plays were ridiculed by Aristophanes in "The Frogs." His plays exhibited his iconoclastic, rationalizing attitude toward the ancient myths that were the subject matter for Greek drama. For Euripides the gods were irrational and petulant, while heroes had flawed natures and uncontrolled passions that made them ultimately responsible for their tragic fates. Ultimately, your standard Euripides tragedy offers meaningless suffering upon which the gods look with complete indifference (until they show up at the end as the deux ex machina). However, today Euripides is considered the most popular of the Greek playwrights and is considered by many to be the father of modern European drama.
This volume does not include all of the extant plays of Euripides (we believe he authored 92 plays, 19 of which have survived), but what are arguably the ten most important: "Alcestis," "Medea," "Hippolytus," "Andromache," "Ion," "Trojan Women," "Electra," "Iphigenia Among the Taurians," "The Bacchants," and "Iphigenia at Aulis." The translations by Moses Hadas and John McLean are not as literate as you will find elsewhere, but they are eminently functional and make this volume one of the most cost-effective ways of providing students an opportunity to study the work of a great dramatist.
After reading several Euripides tragedies several things emerge in our understanding of his work. First, he has a unique structure for his plays decidedly different from those of Aeschylus and Sophocles.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a theatre director and playwright. I read every translation of Medea I could find. This 1998 translation by Roche, after twenty years of ripening, is fresh, clear, and strong. He prioritized retaining the ( ( ( s o u n d ) ) ) of the ancient greek, and his poet's ear captured its slippery almost-iambic trimeter perfectly. A powerful, haunting, contemporary translation. "Deep is her sobbing from depths of pain/ Shrill is the answer her suffering gives/ To the news of a woman betrayed/ A love gone wrong..." A mature poet's text, translated by an equally sensitive poet. It doesn't get any better than this.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm an acting teacher, and this is the best translation I've come across. It's very readable and actable. Most other translations take a formal equivalency approach but this one is more dynamic equivalency. For an acting student, the text is immediate and realistic rather than awkward.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Roche's translations of Euripides' tragedies are intrusive. He adds stage directions and characterizations that influence how the reader views the people in the plays. Readers may believe that these stage directions are from Euripides, but most of them are not. I find it irksome having to differentiate between Roche's interpretation of character and Euripides' text.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Euripides is not a definitive tragedian (in the Aristotelian notion) like his contemporary Sophocles; although he mines the same subject matter, he exhibits a number of stylistic differences and peculiarities. His plays tend to begin with a single character delivering a soliloquy that introduces the background of the story, and he makes frequent use of a "deus ex machina" at the end in order to set things right, or as right as they can be.
The biggest difference between Sophocles and Euripides is their approach to tragedy. Sophocles uses tragedy as an enhancement of nobility, an illumination of heroic dignity and grandeur; to Euripides it is just ugly, crude, and awkward, like a ketchup stain on your shirt. Tragedy elevates the Sophoclean hero to a state of fearsome awe, but it merely reduces the Euripidean hero to an object of pity and even derision. In this sense Euripides is more of a realist and a humanist, and therefore more modern.
Euripides's plays transform classical mythology not into morality lessons but into drama in a very basic, empathic mode. He makes the most of every dramatic situation: Medea, who kills her children to punish her unfaithful husband Jason; Hector's widow Andromache, who is enslaved by Achilles's son Neoptolemus and is accused by his wife Hermione of seducing him; Ion, son of Apollo by the rape of Creusa and attendant at his temple, in a classic plot of mistaken identity; Pentheus, king of Thebes, who is murdered by frenzied Bacchantes, one of whom is his own mother; Iphigenia, who is sacrificed by her father Agamemnon to ensure Greek victory in the Trojan War. There is a very clear path that connects Euripides with the conventions of two and a half millenia of Western literature. He might not have been as famous or as respected as Sophocles, but he is no less important a dramatist.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Euripides was the youngest and the least successful of the great triad of Greek tragic poets. Criticized by the conservatives of his time for introducing shabby heroes and immoral women into his plays, his plays were ridiculed by Aristophanes in "The Frogs." His plays exhibited his iconoclastic, rationalizing attitude toward the ancient myths that were the subject matter for Greek drama. For Euripides the gods were irrational and petulant, while heroes had flawed natures and uncontrolled passions that made them ultimately responsible for their tragic fates. Ultimately, your standard Euripides tragedy offers meaningless suffering upon which the gods look with complete indifference (until they show up at the end as the deux ex machina). However, today Euripides is considered the most popular of the Greek playwrights and is considered by many to be the father of modern European drama.
This volume does not include all of the extant plays of Euripides (we believe he authored 92 plays, 19 of which have survived), but what are arguably the ten most important: "Alcestis," "Medea," "Hippolytus," "Andromache," "Ion," "Trojan Women," "Electra," "Iphigenia Among the Taurians," "The Bacchants," and "Iphigenia at Aulis." The translations by Moses Hadas and John McLean are not as literate as you will find elsewhere, but they are eminently functional and make this volume one of the most cost-effective ways of providing students an opportunity to study the work of a great dramatist.
After reading several Euripides tragedies several things emerge in our understanding of his work. First, he has a unique structure for his plays decidedly different from those of Aeschylus and Sophocles.
Read more ›
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