Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood

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Helen of Troy: From Homer to Hollywood is a comprehensive literary biography of Helen of Troy, which explores the ways in which her story has been told and retold in almost every century from the ancient world to the modern day.
  • Takes readers on an epic voyage into the literary representations of a woman who has wielded a great influence on Western cultural consciousness for more than three millennia
  • Features a wide and diverse variety of literary sources, including epic, drama, novels, poems, film, comedy, and opera, and works by Homer, Euripides, Chaucer, Shakespeare
  • Includes an analysis of a radio play by the prize-winning author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and a Faust play by a contemporary Scottish playwright
  • Explores themes such as narrative difficulties in portraying Helen, how legal history relates to her story, and how writers apportion blame or exculpate her
  • Considers the aesthetic and narrative difficulties that ensue when literature translates myth
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About the author

Laurie Maguire is Professor of English at Oxford University and has authored or edited six previous books, including Studying Shakespeare and the popular Where There's a Will There's a Way. She has lectured widely at literary festivals in the U.S. and U.K.
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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Apr 6, 2009
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9781444308631
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Literary Criticism / Ancient & Classical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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'In this masterful reevaluation of Euripides, Michael Walton recasts the playwright in light of his resonance for today's translators and directors. Springing from the rehearsal room rather than the page, Walton shows us not only why we are ready for Euripides, but why we so desperately need him.' Mary Louise Hart, Associate Curator of Antiquities, J. Paul Getty Museum

'A useful, reader-friendly introduction aimed at non-specialists, [it] offers detailed summaries of Euripides' plays, along with keen observations on their relevance for today's theater.' Rush Rehm, author of Radical Theatre


Euripides Our Contemporary is a major new study of the work of the great classical tragedian that illuminates his work and demonstrates both its vitality and how it continues to speak to us today. Taking a thematic approach to Euripides' plays it provides the reader with a wide-ranging and thorough appreciation of the writer's entire canon. For students, teachers and practitioners this is the best single-volume treatment of the writer's work, considering the plays for their accessibility and for their focus on issues and concerns which are as significant as ever in the modern world.


Divided into three sections, the book first examines 'Domesticating Tragedy', the manner in which Euripides gave the world of myth an application to ordinary life. The second section tackles the 'Grand Passions': characters under extraordinary pressure and the extent to which personal responsibility can be absolved through various aspects of circumstance. The third looks at the nature of Euripides' theatre and his acknowledgment of it, the great roles and the playwrights of the last hundred years whose craft seems most influenced by his work. An Appendix at the end of the book provides a short summary of the plots of all nineteen plays.

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