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The Bacchae and Other Plays

Author: Euripides   Series: Penguin Classics

Paperback
The plays of Euripides have stimulated audiences since the fifth century BC. This volume, containing "Phoenician Women, Bacchae, Iphigenia at Aulis, Orestes," and "Rhesus" completes the new editions of Euripides in Penguin Classics.
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Paperback

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Summary

The plays of Euripides have stimulated audiences since the fifth century BC. This volume, containing "Phoenician Women, Bacchae, Iphigenia at Aulis, Orestes," and "Rhesus" completes the new editions of Euripides in Penguin Classics.

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Description

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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About the Author

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.

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Product Details

Publisher
Penguin Books | Penguin Classics
Published
31st August 2006
Edition
1st
Pages
360
ISBN
9780140447262
$22.77
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