Euripides

Euripides (Greek: Εὐριπίδης) (c. 480 – 406 BC) was one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him but according to the Suda it was ninety-two at most. Of these, eighteen or nineteen have survived complete (there has been debate about his authorship of Rhesus, largely on stylistic grounds) and there are also fragments, some substantial, of most of the other plays. More of his plays have survived intact than those of Aeschylus and Sophocles together, partly due to mere chance and partly because his popularity grew as theirs declined—he became, in the Hellenistic Age, a cornerstone of ancient literary education, along with Homer, Demosthenes and Menander.

Euripides is identified with theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times, especially in the representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. This new approach led him to pioneer developments that later writers adapted to comedy, some of which are characteristic of romance. Yet he also became "the most tragic of poets", focusing on the inner lives and motives of his characters in a way previously unknown. He was "the creator of...that cage which is the theatre of Shakespeare's Othello, Racine's Phèdre, of Ibsen and Strindberg," in which "...imprisoned men and women destroy each other by the intensity of their loves and hates", and yet he was also the literary ancestor of comic dramatists as diverse as Menander and George Bernard Shaw.

He was also unique among the writers of ancient Athens for the sympathy he demonstrated towards all victims of society, including women. His conservative male audiences were frequently shocked by the 'heresies' he put into the mouths of characters, such as these words of his heroine Medea:

Sooner would I stand
Three times to face their battles, shield in hand,
Than bear one child!

His contemporaries associated him with Socrates as a leader of a decadent intellectualism, both of them being frequently lampooned by comic poets such as Aristophanes. Whereas Socrates was eventually put on trial and executed as a corrupting influence, Euripides chose a voluntary exile in old age, dying in Macedonia. Recent scholarship casts doubt on ancient biographies of Euripides. For example, it is possible that he never visited Macedonia at all, or, if he did, he might have been drawn there by King Archelaus with incentives that were also offered to other artists.

Read more about Euripides:  Life, Work, Reception

Other articles related to "euripides":

Satyrus The Peripatetic
... (Demosthenes), poets (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides), and philosophers ((Bias of Priene, Chilon of Sparta, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Zeno of Elea, Anaxagoras, Socrates, Diogenes, Anaxarchus, Stilpo) ... Fragments of his biography of the Athenian dramatist Euripides were found at the end of a papyrus scroll discovered at Oxyrhynchus in the early twentieth century ... he interpreted the verses of the works of Euripides to win material for his vita of this great tragedian ...
The Phoenician Women
... Φοίνισσαι, Phoinissai) is a tragedy by Euripides, based on the same story as Aeschylus' play Seven Against Thebes ... Unlike some of Euripides' other plays, the chorus does not play a significant role in the plot, but represents the innocent and neutral people that very ... Euripides wrote the play around 408 BC, under the influence of a big defeat of his homeland, Athens, which then faced a military disaster ...
Euripides - Texts - Lost and Fragmentary Plays
... Webster's older The Tragedies of Euripides based upon what were then believed to be the most likely reconstructions of the plays ...
Minos Volanakis
... He provided the translation into English of Euripides' Iphigeneia at Aulis for a production at the Circle in the Square Theatre in New York in 1967, which Michael Cacoyannis directed ... He directed a production of Euripides' The Bacchae at the Lyceum Theater in New York in 1968 and the US première of Genet's The Screens in 1971 ... In 1973 he directed Euripides' Medea at the Circle in the Square Theatre in New York, which opened on January 17 ...
Cave Of Euripides
... The Cave of Euripides is a ten-chamber cave in Peristeria on Salamis Island, Greece, and the subject of archaeological investigation ... comes from its long reputation as the place where the playwright Euripides came for sanctuary to write his tragedies ...