Electra and Other Plays: Euripides (Penguin Classics)

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9780140446685: Electra and Other Plays: Euripides (Penguin Classics)

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.

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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.

John Davie is head of classics at St. Paul's School in London.


Richard Rutherford is tutor in Greek and Latin literature at Christ Church, Oxford.


Richard Rutherford is tutor in Greek and Latin literature at Christ Church, Oxford.

Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Of all the ancient Greek tragedians, Euripides was the most sensitive to the lives of women and other outcasts in Athenian society, and Electra and Other Plays collects five plays demonstrating his talent for bringing to life their plight. This Penguin Classics edition is translated by John Davie with an introduction and notes by Richard Rutherford.Written during a period overshadowed by the fierce struggle for supremacy between Sparta and Euripides native Athens, these five plays are haunted by the shadow of war - and in particular its impact on women. In Electra the children of Agamemnon take bloody revenge on their mother for murdering their father after his return from Troy, and Suppliant Women depicts the grieving mothers of those killed in battle. The other plays deal with the aftermath of the Trojan War for the defeated survivors, as Andromache shows Hector s widow as a trophy of war in the house of her Greek captor, and Hecabe portrays a defeated queen avenging the murder of her last-remaining son, while Trojan Women tells of the plight of the city s women in the hands of their victors.John Davie s compelling translations are accompanied by an introduction by Richard Rutherford describing the tragic genre and Euripides innovations, along with a chronology, prefaces to each play, notes, a bibliography and a glossary of names.Euripides (c.485-07 BC) was an Athenian born into a family of considerable rank. Disdaining the public duties expected of him, Euripides spent a life of quiet introspection, spending much of his life in a cave on Salamis. Late in life he voluntarily exiled himself to the court of Archelaus, King of Macedon, where he wrote The Bacchae, regarded by many as his greatest work. Euripides is thought to have written 92 plays, only 18 of which survive.If you enjoyed Electra and Other Plays, you might like Euripides Medea and Other Plays, also available in Penguin Classics. The most intensely tragic of all the poets Aristotle. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140446685

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Of all the ancient Greek tragedians, Euripides was the most sensitive to the lives of women and other outcasts in Athenian society, and Electra and Other Plays collects five plays demonstrating his talent for bringing to life their plight. This Penguin Classics edition is translated by John Davie with an introduction and notes by Richard Rutherford.Written during a period overshadowed by the fierce struggle for supremacy between Sparta and Euripides native Athens, these five plays are haunted by the shadow of war - and in particular its impact on women. In Electra the children of Agamemnon take bloody revenge on their mother for murdering their father after his return from Troy, and Suppliant Women depicts the grieving mothers of those killed in battle. The other plays deal with the aftermath of the Trojan War for the defeated survivors, as Andromache shows Hector s widow as a trophy of war in the house of her Greek captor, and Hecabe portrays a defeated queen avenging the murder of her last-remaining son, while Trojan Women tells of the plight of the city s women in the hands of their victors.John Davie s compelling translations are accompanied by an introduction by Richard Rutherford describing the tragic genre and Euripides innovations, along with a chronology, prefaces to each play, notes, a bibliography and a glossary of names.Euripides (c.485-07 BC) was an Athenian born into a family of considerable rank. Disdaining the public duties expected of him, Euripides spent a life of quiet introspection, spending much of his life in a cave on Salamis. Late in life he voluntarily exiled himself to the court of Archelaus, King of Macedon, where he wrote The Bacchae, regarded by many as his greatest work. Euripides is thought to have written 92 plays, only 18 of which survive.If you enjoyed Electra and Other Plays, you might like Euripides Medea and Other Plays, also available in Penguin Classics. The most intensely tragic of all the poets Aristotle. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140446685

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Of all the ancient Greek tragedians, Euripides was the most sensitive to the lives of women and other outcasts in Athenian society, and Electra and Other Plays collects five plays demonstrating his talent for bringing to life their plight. This Penguin Classics edition is translated by John Davie with an introduction and notes by Richard Rutherford. Written during a period overshadowed by the fierce struggle for supremacy between Sparta and Euripides native Athens, these five plays are haunted by the shadow of war - and in particular its impact on women. In Electra the children of Agamemnon take bloody revenge on their mother for murdering their father after his return from Troy, and Suppliant Women depicts the grieving mothers of those killed in battle. The other plays deal with the aftermath of the Trojan War for the defeated survivors, as Andromache shows Hector s widow as a trophy of war in the house of her Greek captor, and Hecabe portrays a defeated queen avenging the murder of her last-remaining son, while Trojan Women tells of the plight of the city s women in the hands of their victors. John Davie s compelling translations are accompanied by an introduction by Richard Rutherford describing the tragic genre and Euripides innovations, along with a chronology, prefaces to each play, notes, a bibliography and a glossary of names. Euripides (c.485-07 BC) was an Athenian born into a family of considerable rank. Disdaining the public duties expected of him, Euripides spent a life of quiet introspection, spending much of his life in a cave on Salamis. Late in life he voluntarily exiled himself to the court of Archelaus, King of Macedon, where he wrote The Bacchae, regarded by many as his greatest work. Euripides is thought to have written 92 plays, only 18 of which survive. If you enjoyed Electra and Other Plays, you might like Euripides Medea and Other Plays, also available in Penguin Classics. The most intensely tragic of all the poets Aristotle. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780140446685

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