Ancient Athens Sparta Euripides Medea Bacchae Phoenician Women Dionysos Oedipus

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Seller: Top-Rated Seller ancientgifts (4,531) 100%, Location: Ferndale, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 382469985673 Euripides Plays One: Medea, The Phoenician Women, Bacchae, Introduced by J. Michael Walton. DESCRIPTION: Softcover: 147 pages. Publisher: Methuen Drama; (2000). As Athens sank deeper into the twenty-seven year war against Sparta she couldn’t win, Euripides forced his fellow countrymen to reconsider some of their most fundamental assumptions. In each of these three plays he portrayed individuals so incensed by injustice and grown so murderous in pursuit of redress that their actions can only destroy their families and spawn greater evil. “Medea”, “The Phoenician Women”, and “Bacchae” are presented here in translations which are accurate and tested in production, with an introduction by Series Editor J. Michael Walton. "Medea" concerns an abandoned wife who murders her children; "The Phoenician Women" adds a further twist to the story of Oedipus and Jocasta; and "Bacchae" is a macabre play about the power of Dionysos and unreason. DESCRIPTION: [Bacchae]: Euripides, the youngest of the trio of great Greek tragedians was born at Salamis in 480 B.C., on the day when the Greeks won their momentous naval victory there over the fleet of the Persians. The precise social status of his parents is not clear but he received a good education, was early distinguished as an athlete, and showed talent in painting and oratory. He was a fellow student of Pericles, and his dramas show the influence of the philosophical ideas of Anaxagoras and of Socrates, with whom he was personally intimate. Like Socrates, he was accused of impiety, and this, along with domestic infelicity, has been supposed to afford a motive for his withdrawal from Athens, first to Magnesia and later to the court of Archelaues in Macedonia where he died in 406 B.C. Euripides's "The Bacchae" is considered by many to be one of his greatest surviving works. It is the story of Dionysus's arrival in Greece and his attempt to influence the people there to worship him. DESCRIPTION: [Phoenician Women]: In these plays Euripides explores ethical and political themes, contrasting the claims of patriotism with family loyalty, pragmatism and expediency with justice, and the idea that “might is right” with the ideal of clemency. “Phoenician Women” explores, with all its deeply disturbing ironies, the fateful history of the House of Laios following the tragic fall of Oedipus, King of Thebes. It transforms the terrible conflict between Oedipus' sons into one of the most savage indictments of civil war in Western literature by highlighting the personal tragedy it brings. DESCRIPTION: [Medea]: This story is told in a variety of ways, most famously by Apollonius of Rhodes in his romantic epic “The Voyage of the Argo”, which was written in the third century B.C. Medea was the granddaughter of the Sun. Her father was Aeetes, who was King of Colchia, at the eastern end of the Black Sea. In his kingdom was the Golden Fleece, a treasure that was guarded by a dragon. Medea met Jason when he came to Colchia in quest of the Golden Fleece. Jason was the rightful king of the Greek state of Iolcus (modern Volos). While he was too young to rule we was sent away to be educated by the centaur Chiron, and his uncle Pelias reigned in his place. When Jason was old enough to return to Iolcus, Pelias was reluctant to give up the throne. He asked Jason what one should do to rid oneself of a man by whom one felt threatened. “Send him to get the Golden Fleece”, Jason replied. Pelias took the advice, and Jason accepted the challenge. Jason assembled an expedition of fifty of the noblest heroes. They sailed in the ship Argo, the first long ship, built with pines cut from the peninsula of Pelion near Iolcus. The expedition sailed through the Straits of Bosporus, which were flanked by the formidable Clashing Rocks, and into the Black Sea. After many adventures they came to Colchis. Aeetes was reluctant to part with the Golden Fleece, but offered it to Jason if he could perform a series of difficult tasks. Jason had to first yoke two monstrous, fire-breathing bulls and plough with them. Then sow some dragons teeth from which would spring armed warriors whom he had to kill. Finally, Jason would have to overcome the dragon which guarded the Golden Fleece. Aeetes was confident that the tasks would prove too difficult for Jason. But he did not reckon with Jason’s divine protectress, Hera, the Queen of the gods, who persuaded Aphrodite, the goddess of love, to make Medea fall in love with Jason. With the assistance of Medea’s magical powers, Jason accomplished all the tasks. Having betrayed her father, Medea was forced to flee with Jason back to his native Greece. In some way, during the flight, Medea’s brother Apsyrtus was murdered. In one version of the story his dismembered body was scattered at sea, to delay the pursuing Aeetes, who would be obliged to collect the pieces. In Euripides’ play, Medea is said by Jason to have killed her brother at the family hearth. After many adventures the Argo returned to Iolcus where Pelias was still king. Medea again used her magic skills, offering to show Pelias’ daughters how to rejuvenate their aging father. She cut a ram into pieces and boiled these in a cauldron with magic herbs, and the ram emerged as a newborn lamb. But when the daughters cut up and boiled Pelias, Medea withheld the crucial herbs. She and Jason were forced to flee again, and came as refugees to Corinth, where this plots picks up the story. CONDITION: Light shelf wear, yellowing pages, otherwise clean , Like New, never read. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: One of antiquity’s greatest poets, Euripides has been prized in every age for the pathos, terror, and intellectual probing of his dramatic creations. Athens of the fifth century B.C. represents one of the towering achievements of civilization. It is the crucible in which Western Civilization was given form. It created democracy: rule by the people. Of the three supreme tragedians of Classical Athens, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, Euripides is the most modern. His people are no longer the heroes of Aeschylus, inspired by Homer and the Heroic world of war and warriors. Nor are they the more humanistic characters of Sophocles, who created men and women of grand moral integrity. Rather, Euripides' people are psychologically drawn, they are frequently petty, conniving, and conflicted. In other words, they are like us. Euripides was born near Athens between 485 and 480 B.C., and grew up during the years of Athenian recovery after the Persian Wars. His first play was presented in 455 B.C., and it is believed that he wrote some ninety-two plays altogether. Nineteen of these survive, a greater number than those of Aeschylus and Sophocles combined. They include “Elektra”, “Hippolytos”, “Andromache”, “Ion”, “Alkestis”, and “The Women of Troy”. His later plays are marked by a sense of disillusion at the futility of human aspiration, which amounts on occasion to a philosophy of absurdism. A year of two before his death he left Athens to live at the court of Macedon, dying there in 406 B.C. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Always controversial, Euripides' plays are now celebrated for the subtlety of their characterization and their unorthodox dramatic style. This volume, with an introduction by J. Michael Walton, contains three of his finest tragedies: “Medea”, the abandoned wife, who murders her own children; “The Phoenician Women”, a further twist in the story of Oedipus and Jocasta; and “Bacchae”, a macabre and complex play about the power of Dionysos and unreason. This edition, with translations by J. Michael Walton and David Thompson, includes a new translation of “Medea”. REVIEW: Here Euripides stands, in vigorous English versions that fully do him justice. The most modern of the Greek tragedians has found a compelling modern form. A boon for classicists and general readers alike. For the reader who comes to tragedy for the first time, these translations are eminently “accessible”. For the classicist, these versions constitute an ambitious reinterpretation of traditional masterpieces. REVIEW: [Medea]: One of the most powerful and enduring of Greek tragedies, “Medea” centers on the myth of Jason, leader of the Argonauts, who has won the dragon-guarded treasure of the Golden Fleece with the help of the sorceress Medea. Having married Medea and fathered her two children, Jason abandons her for a more favorable match, never suspecting the terrible revenge she will take. Euripides’ masterly portrayal of the motives fiercely driving Medea’s pursuit of vengeance for her husband’s insult and betrayal has held theatre audiences spellbound for more than twenty centuries. REVIEW: [Medea]: Deserted by Jason, whose life she saved at a great cost to herself and others, and forced into exile by the father of her rival in love, Medea plots a barbaric revenge. The consequences wrought by her destructive actions, and by those who underestimate her bewitching power, are harrowing. Accessible, but not prosaic, vivid but not overstated, poetic but not inflated. REVIEW: [Medea]: "Medea," the play by Euripides was first produced in 431 B.C. After more than two millennia, this remains a powerfully written human tragedy. This very effective translation manages to sound both classic and contemporary at the same time. "Medea" tells a story involving the classical Greek hero Jason and Medea, by whom he has fathered two children. As the play opens, Jason has angered Medea by taking on another woman to be his wife. This conflict drives the drama forward. "Medea" is a gripping story about love, parenthood, politics, betrayal, anger, and revenge. There is a subtle but fascinating theme of ethnic tension as Medea and Jason clash. I believe that, after all these centuries, Euripides' sociological and psychological insights remain compelling. REVIEW: [Bacchae]: When temporal authority tries to restrict the rites of the followers of Bacchus, the results are tragic. A classical tale of the rule of law verses the rule of heaven. REVIEW: [Bacchae]: In Bacchae, a masterpiece of tragic drama, Euripides tells the story of king Pentheus’ resistance to the worship of Dionysus and his horrific punishment. Euripides' powerful investigation of religious ecstasy and the resistance to it is an argument for moderation, rejecting the lures of pure reason as well as pure sensuality. REVIEW: [Bacchae]: Classic Greek tragedy concerns the catastrophe that ensues when the King of Thebes, Pentheus, imprisons Dionysus and attempts to suppress his cult. Full of striking scenes, frenzied emotion and choral songs of great power and beauty, the play is a fine example of Euripides' ability to exploit Greek myth to probe man's psychological makeup. REVIEW: [Bacchae]: “The Bacchae” was not only the last and greatest of Euripides' tragedies, it was very close to the last of the great Greek tragedies. The story of the play is in part about this cultural dissolution in Athens. It's also about the theatre itself, and how a sane society needs strong, intelligent theatre to survive. “The Bacchae” argues passionately, beautifully, and convincingly for the need for such a theatre, in our era as much as Euripides'. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: [Medea]: The great screen writers and directors of the last century have nothing on Euripides when it comes to being an innovator of art. Euripides tore away the shackles of the "how to write a play" of his day, Aristotelian dramatic theory. In the process, modern Western drama was born. His play “Medea” is a prime example. At first glance “Medea” does, in some respects, exemplify Aristotle's requirements for a tragedy. However, the play violates Aristotle's vision more than it corresponds to it. It does this through untraditional content and innovation. In layout and movement of the plot, Medea closely matches the form of Aristotle's standard example of a tragedy, Sophocles' “Oedipus Rex”. “Medea” shares Oedipus's convention of beginning with the perspective of a mournful look back on the events that are about to be told. Medea is highborn and descends from the lineage of the Gods. This in some ways fulfills Aristotle's requirement that the protagonist be exceptional. Likewise, both Medea and Oedipus depict what Aristotle would call "terrible and piteous events”. However, this is where the similarity with Aristotle's ideal of the tragic ends. The character of Medea is the main wrench that Euripides throws into Aristotle's description of tragedy. Aristotle's idea of the tragic hero demanded a change of experience and fortune that entails unmerited suffering on the part of the character and a fearful viewing of events on behalf of the audience. These things do not happen in “Medea”. Medea has a history. She has killed spitefully and coldly in the past. She continues to do so throughout the play. She never even faces the threat of a fall from a high station because she secures sanctuary in Athens before she sets her revenge into motion (incidentally, one comes to feel like the psalmist who wrote: "I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil"--though in this case it is a wicked woman). Euripides uses “Medea” to make a commentary, not to bring about that lynch-pin of Aristotelian drama: catharsis. “Medea” does not attempt to meet up with Aristotle's requirements. Instead, it is becomes new form of art; tragedy as social commentary. Euripides shows himself to be among the great artistic innovators in history by his transformation of a received dramatic form into something different but wholly effective in its own way. REVIEW: [Medea]: Honestly reading this story overwhelmed me. Considering how short the play is, at the end I found myself mentally and emotionally exhausted. "Medea" explores many different themes that are still present in life today. Although I found her undying attachment to Jason annoying, I understood after reading the play how love and revenge can overpower one’s mind. I felt as if Euripides toyed with the fact that women are both the weakest and the strongest in relationships. Medea's passion was overwhelming as a reader because I felt like it was a cry for attention rather than a true plea of lost love. Euripides' "Medea" although short, is very intense and filled with many emotions. I was lucky enough to see an amazing performance of this play. If done thoughtfully, it can engage you to the point where you sympathize with Medea and are annoyed by her at the same time. REVIEW: [Medea]: : I thought “Medea” was pretty interesting to read, especially since I found it difficult to decide whether I supported Medea's decisions throughout the play. So much to go through just to inflict pain on her former husband Jason! I understood her reasoning for revenge, which was fueled by hurt and grief, and enjoyed the fact that unlike most women in ancient Athens, Medea took action when she was wronged. Like the women in the Chorus, I supported Medea. However, when Medea goes as far as to kill her own children, I was disappointed that Medea found Jason's agony to be more important than the lives of her own two sons. Overall, I enjoyed reading “Medea”, though I would have liked to have known if any guilt managed to catch up to Medea afterwards. REVIEW: [Medea]: Euripide's "Medea" certainly has an interesting plotline similar to that of many drama series and movies of today: man falls in love with woman who saved his life, man and woman marry and have kids, man has affair with a king's daughter, wife seeks revenge. What makes this story different from the cheesy revenge stories of today is that Euripides, like other Ancient Greek writers, brings in the question of what is morally right or wrong according to the Greek gods who treasure obedience and trust, more than anything. So! In "Medea," where Jason denies the life-saving help he received from Medea and disobeys her by having an affair with a higher-class person, and Medea is extremely pained by Jason and performs the most inhumane revenge, who is more wrong? To rephrase this question, to what extent of inhumanity is a revenge valid/morally right for the oh-so-important Greek gods to accept? Throughout the book, it was very difficult for me to support either Medea, who is extremely suffering from her husband's affair that she could kill herself, or Jason, who just wants to get away from his wife to start a new, higher-class life with his children. However, I think that it is this inner conflict of who to A. sympathize with emotionally or B. support because he or she is "justified/right", that makes the reader really question his or her viewpoint of extreme situations, making this book sincerely amazing. REVIEW: [Bacchae]: If, like me, you had Greek Tragedy down as an austere thing, full of parched plains, unswerving Fate and dour verse, then 'The Bacchae' might come as a pleasant surprise. It has these things of course, but the first quality that shocks is the vibrant, fervid excess of the language. The story concerns Dionysus, the God of wine, the Life Force, the Chaos of the Irrational etc., who inspires a possessed devotion in his acolytes, as they express themselves in high-flown, ecstatic rhapsodies. Not every one takes this proto-hippie's divinity seriously, in particular the family of his mortal mother, led by the impetuous teenage king Pentheus, who sees all this Bacchanalia in the woods and mountains in loose robes as so much lechery. Dionysus exacts such terrible revenge on these unbelievers that 'Bacchae' makes Shakespeare's 'Titus Andronicus' look like a Julie Andrews vehicle. If Sophocles' 'Oedipus the King' is the first detective story, than 'Bacchae' might be the first police procedural. A central sequence sees Pentheus arrest Dionysus and interrogate him, a scene as tightly written and suspenseful as any thriller. But detection and policing, embodying the forces of reason and the Law, have no power against the Irrational or Unknowable, and Pentheus is soon made mad, his order and sense of self in tatters. The terrible grip of irony familiar from Greek Tragedy gives the play a violent momentum, but the most extraordinary scenes take place offstage, related in vivid and tumultuous monologues by messengers; the whirlwind revenge of Dionysus' female followers on the forces of surveying civilization, and the cruel enactment of the God's revenge. This idea of hearing about improbable catastrophes but not being able to see them adds to the supernatural terror that is the play's fevered life-blood. REVIEW: [Bacchae]: The Bacchae" was written by Euripides when he was living in Macedonia in virtual exile during the last years of his life. The tragedy was performed in Athens after his death. These factors are important in appreciate this particular Greek tragedy because such plays were performed at a festival that honored the Dionysus, and in "The Bacchae" he is the god who extracts a horrible vengeance. The tragedy clearly demonstrates the god's power, but it is a terrible power, which suggests less than flattering things about the deity himself. Pentheus was the son of Echion and Agave, the daughter of Cadmus, the founder of the Royal House of Thebes. After Cadmus stepped down the throne, Pentheus took his place as king of Thebes. When the cult of Dionysus came to Thebes, Pentheus resisted the worship of the god in his kingdom. However, his mother and sisters were devotees of the god and went with women of the city to join in the Dionsysian revels on Mount Cithaeron. Pentheus had Dionysus captured, but the god drove the king insane, who then shackled a bull instead of the god. When Pentheus climbed a tree to witness in secret the revelry of the Bacchae women, he was discovered and torn to pieces by his mother and sisters, who, in their Bacchic frenzy, believed him to be a wild beast. The horrific action is described in gory detail by a messenger, which is followed by the arrival of the frenzied and bloody Agave, the head of her son fixed atop her thytsus. Unlike those stories of classical mythology which are at least mentioned in the writings of Homer, the story of Pentheus originates with Euripides. The other references in classical writing, the "Idylls" written by the Syracusean poet Theocritus and the "Metamorphoses" of the Latin poet Ovid, both post-date"The Bacchae" by centuries. On those grounds, the tragedy of Euripides would appear to be entirely his construct, which would certainly give it an inherent uniqueness over his interpretations of the stories of "Medea," "Electra," and "The Trojan Women”. I see "The Bacchae" as being Euripides' severest indictment of religion and not as the recantation of his earlier rationalism in his old age. The dramatic conflicts of the play stem from religious issues, and without understanding the opposition on Apollonian grounds of Pentheus to the new cult readers miss the ultimate significance of the tragedy. This is not an indictment of Apollonian rationalism, but rather a dramatic argument that, essentially, it is irrational to ignore the irrational. As the fate of Pentheus amply points out, it is not only stupid to do so, it is fatal. REVIEW: [Bachae]: Euripedes is one of the greatest dramatists in the history of the west, and the Bacchae is one of his most powerful and violent tragedies. It is the tale of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and intoxication, and of his betrayal on earth by Pentheus, the disbeliever. Despite the apparent revenge play that unfolds, the content and meaning of the work is not as clear as it seems. As the chorus declares: "The gods have many shapes. The gods bring many things to their accomplishment. And what was most expected has not been accomplished. But god has found his way for what man expected." It is Dionysus that suffers in the form of Pentheus. Dinoysus is the god of suffering, of excrement and moisture. The Bacchae is a major work of tragedy, and it established a lasting cult of Dionysus in the west, all the way up to Nietzsche and the Birth of Tragedy. REVIEW: [Bacchae]: The Bacchae was written around 406 B.C. when Euripides was approximately seventy years old. The play is a dramatization of Dionysus' return to his birthplace Thebes where he exacts revenge, because he is not given proper recognition as a divinity. The main themes include the superiority of the gods and the importance of appeasement and justice. Pentheus, the protagonist, represents human failing to respect the gods so that he, along with the rest of society, is guilty of hubris. The story also illustrates that a complete state of ecstasy can be sanctioned through Dionysiac worship as long as it is controlled by the god. There is also a patriarchal element that outlines the gender hierarchy within the divine and mortal societies of the Greeks. REVIEW: [Phoenician Women]: This play by Euripides is another version of the story of the conflict between the two sons of Oedipus, Eteocles and Polyneices. It has an unusual title in that the Phoenician women are the chorus, observers of the battle between Thebes under Eteocles and the Argive army assembled by Polyneices and his father-in-law, the King of Argos. Once again, Euripides is showing Athens the folly of war. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). The shipment will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." Title: Euripides Plays, Subtitle: Medea, The Phoenician Women, Bacchae

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