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19 Plays: Alcestis / Andromache / Bacchae / Children of Heracles / Cyclops / Electra / Hecuba / Helen / Heracles / Hippolyta / Ion / Iphigenia in Aulis / Iphigenia in Tauris / Medea / Orestes / Phonecian Women / Rhesus / Suppliant Women / Trojan Women by Euripides
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195061667, Paperback)At once a vigorous translation of one of Euripides' most subtle and witty plays, and a wholly fresh interpretation, this version reveals for the first time the extraordinary formal beauty and thematic concentration of the Alcestis. William Arrowsmith, eminent classical scholar, translator, and General Editor of this highly praised series, rejects the standard view of the Alcestis as a psychological study of the egotist Admetos and his naive but devoted wife. His translation, instead, presents the play as a drama of human existence-in keeping with the tradition of Greek tragedy-with recognizably human characters who also represent masked embodiments of human conditions. The Alcestis thus becomes a metaphysical tragicomedy in which Admetos, who has heretofore led a life without limitations, learns to "think mortal thoughts." He acquires the knowledge of limits-the acceptance of death as well as the duty to live-which, according to Euripides, makes people meaningfully human and capable of both courage and compassion. This new interpretation compellingly argues that, for Euripides, suffering humanizes, that exemption makes a man selfish and childish, and that only the courage to accept both life and death leads to the realization of one's humanity, and, in the case of Alcestis, to heroism.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:56 -0400)
The Greek text of Euripides' Alcestis has been critically edited for this bilingual edition; the prose translation attempts to follow it verse by verse. The commentary, which assumes no knowledge of Greek on the part of the reader, explains questions of content and interpretation. The comprehensive introduction provides information on the historical background, the motifs of 'life exchange' and 'sacrificial death and return' in Greek myth and in Euripides' work, and on adaptations and modern interpretations.
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