9780140446685

Electra and Other Plays : Euripides

by Unknown
  • ISBN13:

    9780140446685

  • ISBN10:

    0140446680

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1999-01-01
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics

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Summary

Written during 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 the victors.

Author Biography

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.

Table of Contents

General Introduction vii
Note on the Text xli
Chronological Table xlv
Translator's Note xlviii
Preface to Andromache
3(42)
Andromache
8(37)
Preface to Hecabe
45(42)
Hecabe
49(38)
Preface to Suppliant Women
87(44)
Suppliant Women
93(38)
Preface to Electra
131(46)
Electra
136(41)
Preface to Trojan Women
177(41)
Trojan Women
183(35)
Notes 218(30)
Bibliography 248(5)
Glossary of Mythological and Geographical Names 253

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