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
A landmark anthology of the masterpieces of Greek drama, featuring all-new, highly accessible translations of some of the world’s most beloved plays, including Agamemnon, Prometheus Bound, Bacchae, Electra, Medea, Antigone, and Oedipus the King
The great plays of Ancient Greece are among the most enduring and important legacies of the Western world. Not only is the influence of Greek drama palpable in everything from Shakespeare to modern television, the insights contained in Greek tragedy have shaped our perceptions of the nature of human life. Poets, philosophers, and politicians have long borrowed and adapted the ideas and language of Greek drama to help them make sense of their own times.
This exciting curated anthology features a cross section of the most popular—and most widely taught—plays in the Greek canon. Fresh translations into contemporary English breathe new life into the texts while capturing, as faithfully as possible, their original meaning.
This outstanding collection also offers short biographies of the playwrights, enlightening and clarifying introductions to the plays, and helpful annotations at the bottom of each page. Appendices by prominent classicists on such topics as “Greek Drama and Politics,” “The Theater of Dionysus,” and “Plato and Aristotle on Tragedy” give the reader a rich contextual background. A detailed time line of the dramas, as well as a list of adaptations of Greek drama to literature, stage, and film from the time of Seneca to the present, helps chart the history of Greek tragedy and illustrate its influence on our culture from the Roman Empire to the present day.
With a veritable who’s who of today’s most renowned and distinguished classical translators, The Greek Plays is certain to be the definitive text for students, scholars, theatrical professionals, and general readers alike for years to come.
Praise for The Greek Plays
“Mary Lefkowitz and James Romm deftly have gathered strong new translations from Frank Nisetich, Sarah Ruden, Rachel Kitzinger, Emily Wilson, as well as from Mary Lefkowitz and James Romm themselves. There is a freshness and pungency in these new translations that should last a long time. I admire also the introductions to the plays and the biographies and annotations provided. Closing essays by five distinguished classicists: the brilliant Daniel Mendelsohn and the equally skilled David Rosenbloom, Joshua Billings, Mary-Kay Gamel, and Gregory Hays all enlightened me. This seems to me a helpful light into our gathering darkness.”—Harold Bloom
“The reception of Ancient Greek theater is as lively as it’s ever been in its 2,500-year history, both on the stage and on the page. Thanks to these sixteen brilliant new renditions by five leading scholar-translators, the three great Athenian masters of tragic drama, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, speak to us once again in powerfully contemporary accents on such fundamental issues as gender, religion, and democratic politics.”—Paul Cartledge, author Democracy: A Life
“The Greek Plays is destined to become a perennial collection, essential reading for students, scholars, and lovers of Greek tragedy alike. This engaging compilation imbues all the ancient plays within its pages with new life by offering rich, informative historical, literary, and cultural context and fresh, accessible translations by some of the most talented classicists working in the field today.”—Bryan Doerries, author of The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today
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.
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.
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.
In the centuries since it was first performed, Euripides’s Medea has established itself as one of the most influential of the Greek tragedies. The story of the wronged wife who seeks revenge against her unfaithful husband by murdering their children is lodged securely in the popular imagination, a touchstone for politics, law, and psychoanalysis and the subject of constant retellings and reinterpretations.
This new translation of Medea by classicist Oliver Taplin, originally published as part of the acclaimed third edition of Chicago’s Complete Greek Tragedies, brilliantly replicates the musicality and strength of Euripides’s verse while retaining the play’s dramatic and emotional impact. Taplin has created an edition of Medea that is particularly suited to performance, while not losing any of the power it has long held as an object of reading or study. This edition is poised to become the new standard, and to introduce a new generation of readers to the heights and depths of Greek tragedy.
The Ancient Classics series provides eReaders with the wisdom of the Classical world, with both English translations and the original Latin and Greek texts. This comprehensive eBook presents the complete works of the Athenian playwright Euripides, with beautiful illustrations, informative introductions and the usual Delphi bonus material. (Version 1)
* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Euripides’ life and works * Features the complete extant plays of Euripides, in both English translation and the original Greek * Concise introductions to the tragedies and other works * Images of contemporary Greek art and famous classical paintings that have been inspired by Euripides’ works * Excellent formatting of the texts * Easily locate the plays or works you want to read with individual contents tables * Includes Euripides’ rare dramas RHESUS and CYCLOPS * Features two bonus biographies – discover Euripides’ ancient world * Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres
The Translations ALCESTIS MEDEA HERACLEIDAE HIPPOLYTUS ANDROMACHE HECUBA THE SUPPLIANTS ELECTRA HERACLES THE TROJAN WOMEN IPHIGENIA IN TAURIS ION HELEN PHOENICIAN WOMEN ORESTES BACCHAE IPHIGENIA AT AULIS RHESUS CYCLOPS
The Greek Texts LIST OF GREEK TEXTS
The Biographies INTRODUCTION TO EURIPIDES by Arthur S. Way EURIPIDES by T. W. Lumb
Five of the greatest, most studied, and most performed Greek tragedies, each in an outstanding translation, include Oedipus Rex and Electra by Sophocles (translated by George Young), in which the much-admired playwright explores the individual's search for truth and self-knowledge; Medea and Bacchae by Euripides (translated by Henry Hart Milman), favorites with modern audiences for their psychological subtlety and the humanity of their characters; and Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus (translated by George Thomson), a monumental work that examines relations between humans and the gods. Includes a selection from the Common Core State Standards Initiative: Oedipus Rex.
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