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In this new translation of the most profound tragedies of Euripides, one of the trio of the supreme Greek tragedians of the fifth century BC, James Morwood brings harshly to life the pressure of the intolerable circumstances under which Euripides places his characters. His dark and cheerless world, one where the gods prove malevolent, importent, or simply absent, reveals men, to use his own words, 'as they are'. His clear-eyed yet sympathetic analysis of characters such as Medea, Hippolytus and Phaedra, and Electra and Clytemnestra - and the supremacy of women is not accidental - is conducted with extraordinary psychological insight through the fearful symmetry of his plot construction. Medea, Hippolytus, and Electra give dramatic articulacy to their creator's howl of protest against the world in which we still live today. His Helen shows him working in a different vein. The themes remain deeply serious; the analysis is still proving and acute. Yet the happy ending, however equivocal, typifies a humour and warmth of spirit that offer, like Shakespeare's last plays, a fragile but genuine hope of redemption.
There is a substantial general introduction and select bibliography by Edith Hall, and full explanatory notes accompany the translation.