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. 484--406 BC) was the most controversial of the three great Greek tragedians and the most modern.
His major themes--religious scepticism, the injustices suffered by women and the destructive folly of war--are issues still vitally important today. Ion, a play more concerned with character than ideas, deals with the problem of reconciling religious faith with the facts of human life. The Women of Troy poignantly reveals the horror of war, a theme also woven into the comedy Helen, in which Euripides pleasantly parodies himself. The Bacchae, his last surviving tragedy and masterpiece, explores the psychology of mass violence. Above all, as these four plays demonstrate, Euripides sought to understand the nature of the human soul and human society. As Philip Vellacott states in his introduction, through reading these dramas we enter a world whose mysteries are infinite because they are the simple ones of common human experience.
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About the Author
EURIPIDES (C.484-406 B.C.) was one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, along with Aeschylus and Sophocles; he is the youngest of the three. He is believed to have written 92 dramas, but only 19 of them are now known.
John Davie is Head of Classics at St Paul's School in London.
Richard Rutherford is Tutor in Greek and Latin Literature at Christ Church, Oxford.