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Medea and Other Plays (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Euripides , Edith Hall , James Morwood
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Nov 2008 Oxford World's Classics
`the most tragic of the poets'

Euripides was one of the most popular and controversial of all Greek tragedians, and his plays are marked by an independence of thought, ingenious dramatic devices, and a subtle variety of register and mood. He is also remarkable for the prominence he gave to female characters, whether heroines of virtue or vice. In the ethically shocking Medea, the first known child-killing mother in Greek myth to perform the deed in cold blood manipulates her world in order to wreak vengeance on her treacherous husband. Hippolytus sees Phaedra's confession of her passion for her stepson herald disaster, while Electra's heroine helps her brother murder their mother in an act that mingles justice and sin. Lastly, lighter in tone, the satyr drama, Helen, is an exploration of the impossibility of certitude as brilliantly paradoxical as the three famous tragedies.

This new translation does full justice to Euripides's range of tone and gift for narrative. A lucid introduction provides substantial analysis of each play, complete with vital explanations of the traditions and background to Euripides's world.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Medea and Other Plays (Oxford World's Classics) + The Aeneid (Penguin Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; Reissue edition (13 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199537968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199537969
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Hellenists and generalists alike have reason to rejoice ... adds to our understanding and appreciation of a poet-playwright who has never ceased to controversial ... comprises four major plays that are wonderful to have together. Edith Hall's introductory essays ... are eloquent and informative, deftly highlighting each play's chief issues ... several new insights into the texts, and sound explanations of the mythical background and ongoing action ... James Morwood's translations ... are extraordinary. In crisp prose ... these may be the easiest-to-read accurate versions that we are likely to see and, in the inexpensive World Classics edition are quite a bargain. No others ... lend themselves to such a ready reading ... The sheer clarity of the English is a considerable achievement. (Victor Castellani, The Classical Outlook/Fall 1999, Volume 77, no 1)

About the Author

is Grocyn Lecturer at Wadham College, Oxford.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Euripides is brilliant. 19 Dec 2009
James Morwwod provides the modern reader with a great series of translations of some of Euripides' best plays: The Medea, The Hippolytus, Electra and Helen.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good translation 4 Dec 2013
By William
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It took a while to get used to Morwood's translation, but it all comes together in some of the best speeches in Medea. I then re-read the selection and really enjoyed all the plays. Good introduction and notes too, especially for the non-academic reader still finding their way through the three great Greek dramatists (eg me!).
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21 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Accurate and insipid 9 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This translation is best used as a crib for those struggling with the Greek. If, however, you want to read the 'Medea' in English, and experience it as a work of literature, you should under no circumstances acquire this. Its plodding, literal, painstaking rendition of Euripides' poetry (and Morwood is not a poet, not by any strech of the imagination) is enough for anyone to dismiss the 'Medea' as 'irrelevant', 'antique' and suchlike. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, but it's the impression that you will gain from this version. Academia at its worst.
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