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satyrs be h*rny
This collection of oddities elbowed its way into the queue because I was getting ready for another excellent Theater of War production, Hercules in Pennsylvania . Bryan Doerries, the Theater of War director and translator, made choices in his translation of this wrenching drama about how the greatest Greek hero saves his family and then destroys it in fit of madness in order to make us think about gun violence. Heracles is undone by what we would call mental illness (it's a lot more p...
Very important tragedies, best translation, although I prefer the original one in ancient Greek!
Especially enjoyed Iphigenia in Tauris -- what does it mean to be "dead"?
The Cyclops - William Arrowsmith - 3 starsHeracles - William Arrowsmith - 4 starsIphigenia in Tauris - Witter Bynner - 4 starsHelen - Richard Lattimore - 3 stars
Cyclopes: 3/5Heracles: 4/5Iphigenia In Tauris: 4.5/5Helen: 4.5/5
The most complete rundown of which Euripides plays I've read can be found here. There's also a thing I wrote called Greek Playwrights 101 or something like that.Below are notes from when I was just starting to learn about this stuff, so my enthusiasm was great but my knowledge...well honestly it hasn't gotten much better.BEST EURIPIDES PLAYSThat I've ReadMedeaHippolytosThat I'm Guessing AboutIphigenia (wtf, there are two of these? I think Tauris is supposed to be better?)AlcestisHeracles (and Ch...
Good but--This collection contains the only satyr play apparently surviving, Cyclopes, a non-Aristotelian tragedy, Heracles, and two romance plays, Iphigenia in Tauris and Helen, which share an almost identical plot, where a woman who thought was dead is actually alive in a foreign land farm from Greece, is then reunited with her brother/husband, escapes the foreign land by trickery, and divinity coming to their aid at the end à la deus ex machina.Cyclopes is short and vulgar, and could be funny...
I might fill in more stuff later but:The Cyclops - 4 StarsHeracles - 5 StarsIphigenia in Tauris - 5 StarsHelen - 4 StarsI felt that Helen suffered by being included directly after Iphigenia, mostly because in many ways they are the same play, in that they share a lot of plot points. Even with that being said though, I do feel Iphigenia is stronger in terms of composition.
Ancient Greek Drama is always spectacular. This being said, this particular set of plays covers more niche, obscure events in mythology. The stories are well told, but you can see Euripides experimenting with dramatic styles and patterns throughout. Euripides has better works, but no one could question the value of any of his plays.
Only read Helen in this one. It operates based on a different version of the myth in which Helen isn't a villain but was rather whisked away to Egypt. The rest of the play is equally fanciful, making for one of the least tragic tragedies of all time. (Though not exactly for that reason,) it didn't really do much for me.
Iphagenia in Taurus was worth reading, and it makes an interesting melodrama, not really a tragedy. This volume does contain the only Satyr play to survive complete from the three great Athenian tragedians.
Repeating myself, I know, but.... What can I say? All of the well-known Greek playwrights are important reading, both for their historical significance as well as the fact that they're excellent plays. They haven't remained famous for 2,400 years because they're not worthy of it.
These plays are cool. Iphegenia in Tauris is pretty neat. But I love the Helen drama.
*the only thing that i've read from this is Helen, though i've also read The Bacchae & Trojan Women as well, but i can't remember in what book.
It's an interesting read, don't get me wrong, but I was not what I was expecting nor hoping for in this book. Although, I did find his interpretation of Helen quite refreshing.