One of the most powerful and enduring of Greek tragedies, Medea centers on the myth of Jason, leader of the Argonauts, who has won the dragon-guarded treasure of the Golden Fleece with the help of the sorceress Medea. Having married Medea and fathered her two children, Jason abandons her for a more favorable match, never suspecting the terrible revenge she will take. Euripides' masterly portrayal of the motives fiercely driving Medea's pursuit of vengeance for her husband's insult and betrayal has held theater audiences spellbound for more than twenty centuries. Rex Warner's authoritative translation brings this great classic of world literature vividly to life.
"[Woodruff's translation] is clear, fluent, and vigorous, well thought out, readable and forceful. The rhythms are right, ever-present but not too insistent or obvious. It can be spoken instead of read and so is viable as an acting version; and it keeps the lines of the plot well focused. The Introduction offers a good survey of critical approaches. The notes at the foot of the page are suitably brief and nonintrusive and give basic information for the non-specialist." --Charles Segal, Harvard University
"This is a very useful edition, excellent for classroom purposes. The translation is clear and lively, and several students commented on how much they enjoyed it. The introduction provides an excellent overview of the issues in the play, as well as of earlier scholarship, making it a good resource for more advanced classes. The cover photo is an added bonus and provided the starting point for stimulating class discussion." --James B. Rives, York University
Medea, in which a spurned woman takes revenge upon her lover by killing her children, is one of the most shocking and horrific of all the Greek tragedies. Dominating the play is Medea herself, a towering and powerful figure who demonstrates Euripides' unusual willingness to give voice to a woman's case. Alcestis, a tragicomedy, is based on a magical myth in which Death is overcome, and The Children of Heracles examines the conflict between might and right, while Hippolytus deals with self-destructive integrity and moral dilemmas. These plays show Euripides transforming the awesome figures of Greek mythology into recognizable, fallible human beings.
To make Medea more accessible for the modern reader, our Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary of the more difficult words, as well as convenient sidebar notes to enlighten the reader on aspects that may be confusing or overlooked. In doing this, it is our intention that the reader may more fully enjoy the beauty of the verse, the wisdom of the insights, and the impact of the drama.Witch, barbarian, foreigner, or a woman wronged and committed to the most horrific kind of justice, Medea is a heroine who makes her audience shudder. Euripides shows us an astonishingly strong female protagonist, whom some readers have identified as the first feminist in Western literature. Seeing where her strength leads her, though, we must wonder if she was intended to be portrayed a model or as a warning.Because the three other plays that were traditionally performed with Medea have been lost, it is difficult to say whether Euripides? Athenian audience was as upset by the play as modern readers are. It won only third place at the biggest festival in the city, indicating that ancient audiences also found it controversial. With its still-relevant examination of marriage, love, and revenge, and its explicit scenes of mental and emotional agony, Medea continues to demand our attention.
Euripides V includes the plays “The Bacchae,” translated by William Arrowsmith; “Iphigenia in Aulis,” translated by Charles R. Walker; “The Cyclops,” translated by William Arrowsmith; and “Rhesus,” translated by Richmond Lattimore. Sixty years ago, the University of Chicago Press undertook a momentous project: a new translation of the Greek tragedies that would be the ultimate resource for teachers, students, and readers. They succeeded. Under the expert management of eminent classicists David Grene and Richmond Lattimore, those translations combined accuracy, poetic immediacy, and clarity of presentation to render the surviving masterpieces of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides in an English so lively and compelling that they remain the standard translations. Today, Chicago is taking pains to ensure that our Greek tragedies remain the leading English-language versions throughout the twenty-first century. In this highly anticipated third edition, Mark Griffith and Glenn W. Most have carefully updated the translations to bring them even closer to the ancient Greek while retaining the vibrancy for which our English versions are famous. This edition also includes brand-new translations of Euripides’ Medea, The Children of Heracles, Andromache, and Iphigenia among the Taurians, fragments of lost plays by Aeschylus, and the surviving portion of Sophocles’s satyr-drama The Trackers. New introductions for each play offer essential information about its first production, plot, and reception in antiquity and beyond. In addition, each volume includes an introduction to the life and work of its tragedian, as well as notes addressing textual uncertainties and a glossary of names and places mentioned in the plays. In addition to the new content, the volumes have been reorganized both within and between volumes to reflect the most up-to-date scholarship on the order in which the plays were originally written. The result is a set of handsome paperbacks destined to introduce new generations of readers to these foundational works of Western drama, art, and life.
Produced more frequently on the ancient stage than any other tragedy, Orestes retells with striking innovations the story of the young man who kills his mother to avenge her murder of his father. Though eventually exonerated, Orestes becomes a fugitive from the Furies (avenging spirits) of his mother's blood. On the brink of destruction, he is saved in the end by Apollo, who had commanded the matricide. Powerful and gripping, Orestes sweeps us along with a momentum that starting slowly, builds inevitably to one of the most spectacular climaxes in all Greek tragedy.
Through their sheer range, daring innovation, flawed but eloquent characters and intriguing plots, the plays of Euripides have shocked and stimulated audiences since the fifth century BC. Phoenician Women portrays the rival sons of King Oedipus and their mother's doomed attempts at reconciliation, while Orestes shows a son ravaged with guilt after the vengeful murder of his mother. In the Bacchae, a king mistreats a newcomer to his land, little knowing that he is the god Dionysus disguised as a mortal, while in Iphigenia at Aulis, the Greek leaders take the horrific decision to sacrifice a princess to gain favour from the gods in their mission to Troy. Finally, the Rhesus depicts a world of espionage between the warring Greek and Trojan camps.
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