[Euripides] ✓ Medea and Other Plays [wicca PDF] Read Online Ï This is Euripides I, from the University of Chicago Press, which published The Complete Greek Tragedies I have a soft spot in my heart for these, regardless of how well or ill one judges the translations and you d have to be a better scholar than I to have a serious opinion on that score My soft spot owes to recollections of my undergraduate days, when I read this same edition as a freshman What a great awakening no, that s a bit too pat what an intriguing alternative to the Ozzie Harriet Abbie and Jerry and Allen Americas that were warring at that time Alcestis is the story of a wife who volunteers to the gods to die instead of her husband The Medea is the original for Fatal Attraction, and, like so much Greek thought which we inevitably return to, does it all on a bigger stage A vindictive King of Argos gets his come uppance in The Heracleidae And Hippolytus is a gender reversed mirror image of Butterfield 8, 2,400 years earlier Phaedra is obsessed with her handsome young stepson, but knows the scandal her passion would engender What happens Trouble what else With Euripides his faults are obvious Equally obvious is his genius He is the father of the romantic comedy, the problem play He has given us a series of unforgettable characters women There has never been anyone else like him The summary of editor and Bryn Mawr professor Richmond Latti.
, a subsequent thought Hippolytus ends with Hippolytus and his father Theseus having it out When they ve vented their anger, resentments, and contrary views of the world, father and son try to make a little nice with each other They blame the behaviors on the gods it was Aphrodite who drove Phaedra into her craziness it was Artemis who made Hippolytus so contrary It must have been a relief to be able to shift some of the responsibility for one s actions onto the perversities of the gods Alas, I know the goddess who destroyed me exclaims Hippolytus And his father, Theseus, laments how terrible his losses have been and how much he contributed to them but it was partly Poseidon s fault A god tripped up my judgment Rejoins Hippolytus, in agreement O, if only men might be a curse to Gods It s a strange mechanism to our ears today, but a good one it gives the characters a way to get past their own sins and destructiveness.
I ve reviewed the individual plays from this volume of Euripides plays the first of five volumes, all of which I have and will read in order separately they are the earliest surviving plays and include the well known Medea as well as Hyppolytus, which aside from Medea stood out to me in this collection.
Four Plays Which Exemplify His Interest In Flawed, Characters Who Defy The Expectations Of Greek SocietyThe Four Tragedies Collected In This Volume All Focus On A Central Character, Once Powerful, Brought Down By Betrayal, Jealousy, Guilt And Hatred The First Playwright To Depict Suffering Without Reference To The Gods, Euripides Made His Characters Speak In Human Terms And Face The Consequences Of Their Actions In Medea, A Woman Rejected By Her Lover Takes Hideous Revenge By Murdering The Children They Both Love, And Hecabe Depicts The Former Queen Of Troy, Driven Mad By The Prospect Of Her Daughter S Sacrifice To Achilles Electra Portrays A Young Woman Planning To Avenge The Brutal Death Of Her Father At The Hands Of Her Mother, While In Heracles The Hero Seeks Vengeance Against The Evil King Who Has Caused Bloodshed In His Family Philip Vellacott S Lucid Translation Is Accompanied By An Introduction, Which Discusses The Literary Background Of Classical Athens And Examines The Distinction Between Instinctive And Civilized Behaviour It s always surprising how brutal and bloody Greek tragedies are but never nihilistic The one who wrongs will be pursued by the Gods, and usually the entire bloodline is cursed Medea Medea is angry that her husband Jason is taking a new wife, he wants to ban her from the city as she s dangerous, she plans revenge and murders the new wife as well as her own children since that will hurt her husband She survives and escapes the city with the bodies of the children.
Hecabe Ex queen of Troy, now slave, has to watch as her daughter is sacrificed by the Greeks looking for good omens to return she also learns that her son was murdered earlier by a trusted friend, so she plots revenge on Polymestor, and traps him with her friends they stab out his eyes and murder his children Agamemnon sends the blind Polymestor away without bloodshed after all, he murdered his guest, it was his fault.
O stately royal palace O once happy home O Priam, famed for boundless treasures famed as father,And I as aged mother, of children without peer How we have come to nothing, stripped of our old pride And we we paltry humans swell with arrogance,One for the wealth and luxury of his house, anotherBecause the citizens all call him a great man Such things mean nothing careful schemes, the eloquenceOf boasters all nothing The man who day by dayLives on, escaping misery he is happiest.
Electra Former princess, now married away to a commoner after an usurper conspired with her mother to kill the king Agamemnon and take over the throne it s also revenge of the mother for the earlier sacrifice of Iphigenia by Agamemnon at the start of the Trojan War the same Iphigenia who survived in Goethe s play Iphigenia in Tauris, a Tragedy Electra waits for her brother Orestes the one who later shows up in The Oresteia , who traps the king and murders him, and both murder their mother They suffer from their great crime of matricide, Orestes is instructed to leave and purge his soul in a few sentences the story of the Oresteia is foretold.
Heracles Yet another usurper, yet another family in peril while the man here Heracles is away on adventures Before the new king can murder the family after all, young kids are future usurpers Heracles appears and kills the king Since this is a Greek tragedy happy endings are not a good thing so Madness personified has to appear some old bloodlines curse or whatevs , Heracles turns mad and kills his sons and wife in a frenzy His mind returns, and Theseus leads the broken man away.
I need to read Greek tragedies I picked this book of plays by Euripides primarily for Medea, so that will earn the brunt of my review.
Medea is one kick ass, crazy bitch Period Having read Jason and the Golden Fleece and thoroughly enjoyed it I was excited to read about Medea, particularly her story after helping Jason find the Golden Fleece Talk about one spurned lover After Jason leaves Medea for a Greek princess, Medea goes a little bye bye and decides the best way for her to express her distaste is to kill off her children Someone get that lady a diary or a canvas or something Girl, there are better ways of creatively expressing your feelings than going straight for the spawn I m just sayin.
Really though, she s not a woman to be trifled with and while I love her story I m a little peeved with Euripides for portraying yet another woman on the crazy side of things The Big E had a habit of being somewhat misogynistic and that s obvious here, even in his attempt to be a big boy and tell the story from the woman s point of view.
In contemporary stories Medea might be referred to as Emily Valentine from the early seasons of Beverly Hills, 90210 She had no children, so she went all firebug instead But the premise is the same Mostly.
The other plays in this small collection were pretty okay The second best is Aclestis where the title character spends a great deal of time dying, her husband mourning, and Death being duped All in all, good times The other plays did not hold up in my opinion, but really it s hard to compete with Medea, both the woman and the play I m digging this girl Though not someone I wish to aspire to become, her psychosis is incredibly fascinating And if during this fascination I cut my hair short, dye it blond so my roots are always showing and start driving a motorcycle and getting all cow eyed for Brandon Walsh after slipping drugs into his drink, please intervene Thanks.
43 Euripides I Alcestis, The Medea, The Heracleidae, Hippolytus The Complete Greek Tragedies published 1955 my copy is a 26th printing from 1993 format 224 page Paperbackacquired May 30 from a Half Price booksread July 5 9rating 4 starsEach play had a different translatorAlcestis 481 bce translated by Latti, Richard c1955The Medea 431 bce translated by David Grene c1944The Heracleidae circa 430 bce translated by Rex Warner c1955Hippolytus by 428 bce translated by Ralph Gladstone c1942 Perhaps the most significant remark about Euripides and Sophocles is that supposed to have been made by Sophocles, that he himself showed men as they ought to be or as one ought to show them but Euripides showed them as they actually were.
from Latti s introduction.
That is a bit of silly comment because no one stands and delivers long, uninterrupted dialogues about private thoughts which they don t actually want anyone to know about But the statement does have some logic Sophocles characters are higher, heroic in statement and action Euripides characters aren t Even his heroes and gods speak very regularly In translation, the works come in long inexorable monologues that don t appear to translate well to poetry, and that don t really strike the reader, or at least didn t strike this reader, until later on when you realize how terrible everything turned out and how terrible it was what they thought, said and did They create what I like to think of as the build up of a quiet hidden energy, of a very dark sort They also end almost suddenly, and certainly not in any satisfying manner.
These are the four oldest of Euripides plays Each seems interesting in taking a very dark happening in the mythology, and dragging it out, putting words to these terrible things Alcestis Before the opening of the play Apollo was sentenced to serve Admetus, a king in Thessaly, for a year Treated well, he rewards Admetus He helps Admetus to do some impossible tasks to win the hand of Acestis as his wife But, in the process, Admetus forget a critical sacrifice to Artemus, who plans to have him killed by snakes Apollo miraculously negotiates with the Fates and gets Admetus s life an extension but someone must volunteer to die in his place No one would agree to this, not even his aging parents Finally Alcestus agrees making her, apparently, an ideal Ancient Greek wife That all happens off the stage, and is never explained within the play The play opens with Alcestic about to die, and Apollo negotiating for her life with death himself, Thanatos Apollo, fails, but promises to send Heracles to make things right Meanwhile, Alcestis has to die, and her husband, and children and servants must witness it This tragedy is the heart of the play Heracles shows up, unaware of anything The mourning is hid from Heracles, who proceeds to get drunk and happy and then get confused about why no one will join him But, what is strange to me, is that even though Heracles does create a happy ending, the tragedy is what hangs around.
This was not Euripides first play He had been writing for years But this is the oldest we still have Medea This seems to be Euripides most important play Medea, a conflicted hero from Jason and the Argonauts, is, here, a fascinating character She is the barbarian from the east from the Black Sea , unstable, uncivilized, a ruthless personality and a sorceress When she falls for Jason, part of how she saves him is till kill her own brother in a boat chase, cut him up into pieces and scatter the pieces, forcing her own kingdom s boats to stall and pick up the pieces That was not her most brutal action And her story is long.
Here in the play, Jason has spurned her and their children and become engaged to a princess of Corinth He does this for political advantage he s in a bad spot because of Medea s latest crimes Medea explodes in a spectrum of emotions of anger, jealously, etc And then she plots, and she acts, concealing her true emotions from the other actors, but not from the audience She will manipulate a safe haven for herself in Athens, gift the princess with a poisoned dress, kill her own children to thoroughly ruin Jason, and then flee in her magic chariot of sorts As Jason, who is thoroughly ruined, tries to confront her But she, still fresh from killing her own children, rails at him with a prolonged bitter speech that has not even the slightest hint of remorse Medea will carry on Heracleidae This is apparently something of a rushed drama with a political point In the real world context, Athens recently caught five foreign diplomats on a mission dangerous to Athens They were summarily executed, without even being given a promised chance to make a public statement Here Heracles has died, and his sons are on the run under a protector Their king, Eurystheus, treated Heracles so badly, that he feels he must kill the children to prevent their vengeance The city of Athens agrees to protect the children and a war ensues Later, Eurystheus is captured, and confronted with the mother of Heracles, Alcmene She demands his death, immediately But, in the process, loses her dignity in her rage, while the bad Eurystheus oddly establishes a dignity we didn t know he had.
Another key oddity here is the voluntary sacrifice of Macaria, a daughter of Heracles For battle success, human sacrifice was considered essential, and she volunteers for the sake of her brothers.
Much to be uncomfortable with here But, really, that is also true of the previous two plays too Hippolytus This was my favorite because it didn t leave me so uncomfortable But, still, it s tragic Phaedra, wife of Theseus, king of Athens, has fallen in love with her stepson, Hippolytus She collapses into a self destructive depression Her not so bright maid tries to help her, and finally pulls out of her this very private and terrible thing that is bothering her Then the maid tells Hippolytus and the tragedies ensues in far excess of reason.
Phaedra is the main interest here, making a psychological study that is really interesting But I also found it interesting to read an Ancient Greek playwright s description of an earthquake and consequence Tsunami overallEuripides so far strives at making the viewer reader uncomfortable He is interesting, but he s not fun like Sophocles was The reward is, well, unclear The art is in the complexity of our response, one that seems fully molded, intentionally, by the playwright I ll read , but I won t anticipate them so much as brace myself for them.
I have mixed reactions to these plays Medea was superb I was astonished at how modern the themes were But Electra was such a disappointment in contrast the characters never really leapt off the page Here are my reviews of the two I have read so far MEDEA Daughter of a King Niece of nymph Granddaughter of a god Wife of a hero How many women have you known in any literary piece ever written, in all history of humanity, who incarnate all of these blessings together in one A fistful, maybe Killer of her own children Ok Now you are definitely left with ONE only MEDEA A symbol A metaphor A precedent A uniqueness ONE and only in millennia What else can one say.
5 stars Medea Anything for Revenge Reading progress update I ve read 138 out of 206 pages Medea You will regret what you did to me, Jason Jason I regretted it alright How great can your anger be To what extent are you ready to hurt those who hurt you Would you kill your own children to appease a great offense Medea is ready to do anything it takes to hurt Jason She takes his wife, his children, and his happiness What I find fascinating in this play is that I am still sympathetic to Medea after all she did It feels wrong to be on her side as much as Jason s side, but she advances reasons to her actions that makes one wonder if she is right except of course for killing her children since that is unforgivable She is clever with words, and she manipulates the others the way she pleases One is tempted to think that she went through a lot and that she was not thinking right, and even that she was in the verge of insanity But the truth is she was not She knew what she was doing, and she carried her plan from A to Z for one reason and one only Revenge.
So is revenge a valid reason to go to extremes to hurt Jason She argues that letting these children live would doom them She believes that nothing was right any the moment Jason decided to share the bed of another woman At some point, she was about to cancel her plan, but she realized it was too late It s like if fate was working against her, but she managed to have it her own way at the end She got what she wanted Revenge.