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Orestes

by Euripides

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1461138,308 (3.45)9
Based on the conviction that only translators who write poetry themselves can properly recreate the celebrated and timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, The Greek Tragedy in New Translations series offers new translations that go beyond the literal meaning of the Greek inorder to evoke the poetry of the originals. Under the editorship of Herbert Golder and the late William Arrowsmith, each volume includes a critical introduction, commentary on the text, full stage directions, and a glossary of the mythical and geographical references in the plays.Produced more frequently on the ancient stage than any other tragedy, Orestes retells with striking innovations the story of the young man who kills his mother to avenge her murder of his father. Though eventually exonerated, Orestes becomes a fugitive from the Furies (avenging spirits) of hismother's blood. On the brink of destruction, he is saved in the end by Apollo, who had commanded the matricide. Powerful and gripping, Orestes sweeps us along with a momentum that starting slowly, builds inevitably to one of the most spectacular climaxes in all Greek tragedy.… (more)

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» See also 9 mentions

My tepid rating of this play is due in part to the translation by Theodore Buckley (this is the most commonly available one in the public domain) & partly due to Euripides' writing. I read this as part of the Kindle omnibus, "The Tragedies Of Euripides Volume 1" and also listened along to the Librivox recording.

While the plot of this play includes a considerable amount of bloody action, it almost all takes place off stage. This is basically a "talking" play -- the various characters tell each other about the action rather than portray it. Because of this, the late Victorian style of Buckley's translation has a large impact on the effect of the play on the reader. I found that in some passages, I was drifting off even as murder and revenge were being discussed.

I would recommend anyone considering this play to seek out a more modern translation. The plot itself is quite interesting, dealing with fate & punishment, revenge & murder. ( )
  leslie.98 | Dec 8, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Euripidesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chapouthier, FernandEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Méridier, LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Based on the conviction that only translators who write poetry themselves can properly recreate the celebrated and timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, The Greek Tragedy in New Translations series offers new translations that go beyond the literal meaning of the Greek inorder to evoke the poetry of the originals. Under the editorship of Herbert Golder and the late William Arrowsmith, each volume includes a critical introduction, commentary on the text, full stage directions, and a glossary of the mythical and geographical references in the plays.Produced more frequently on the ancient stage than any other tragedy, Orestes retells with striking innovations the story of the young man who kills his mother to avenge her murder of his father. Though eventually exonerated, Orestes becomes a fugitive from the Furies (avenging spirits) of hismother's blood. On the brink of destruction, he is saved in the end by Apollo, who had commanded the matricide. Powerful and gripping, Orestes sweeps us along with a momentum that starting slowly, builds inevitably to one of the most spectacular climaxes in all Greek tragedy.

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