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Orestes and Other Plays [Paperback]

Euripides , Philip Vellacott
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 15.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 Feb 2006
Written during the long battles with Sparta that were to ultimately destroy ancient Athens, these six plays by Euripides brilliantly utilize traditional legends to illustrate the futility of war. The Children of Heracles holds a mirror up to contemporary Athens, while Andromache considers the position of women in Greek wartime society. In The Suppliant Women, the difference between just and unjust battle is explored, while Phoenician Women describes the brutal rivalry of the sons of King Oedipus, and the compelling Orestes depicts guilt caused by vengeful murder. Finally, Iphigenia in Aulis, Euripides' last play, contemplates religious sacrifice and the insanity of war. Together, the plays offer a moral and political statement that is at once unique to the ancient world, and prophetically relevant to our own.

Frequently Bought Together

Orestes and Other Plays + The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides) Classics S. + Medea and Other Plays : Medea; Hecabe; Electra; Heracles (Penguin Classics)
Price For All Three: 27.87

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (23 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140442596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140442595
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 13 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

pides (c.485-406 BC) is thought to have written 92 plays, only 18 of which survive.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This strangely compelling play, first produced about 421 b.c. (the tenth year of the Peloponnesian War), is unlikely to catch the interest of anyone today who is looking for something new and convincing to produce on a stage. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Euripides - 484BC and still selling! 18 Dec 2006
These plays feature legendary figures - Andromache (Hector's wife), Orestes, son of Agamemnon (Tojan war) - and some legendary situations. However, the characters are very human and emotional, and so can speak to us immediately on that level. All the more because the translation is in modern English, and so easy to read. It's not important to digest the scholarly introduction to enjoy them: though it's true it does enhance the experience. There are some brilliant quotable lines:

"If gods are wise, wisdom should not let misery,

Settle unchangeably upon one mortal's life"

There are sustained appeals for morality, peace, and spirit raising bravery.(I think in particular of Iphigenia, facing being sacrificed!) A hundred times more accessible to this reader than Shakespeare, and if I were the judge, I'd say no less of an accomplishment.

Here's another, judge for yourself:

"Life is a brief affair; such as it is, we should

Seek to pass through it gently, not in stress and strain."
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be ignored 16 Sep 2009
By John Cullom - Published on Amazon.com
Euripedes is too often an afterthought of Greek tragedy. Part of the reason is that the plays are very much tied up with the political environment of the time, part is that so little of the dialogue of the characters can be taken at face value, and sadly, a significant part of the neglect is from the fact that there is more of Euripedes left to read than Sophocles or Aeschylus. He's tougher to sum up or put on as a reading laurel.

None of those are good reasons for passing him over. Euripedes is astonishingly modern. Characters behave like actual flawed and greedy people. The political analysis of crowd mentality and fear mongering is very insightful - this volume is a very powerful study of the post 9/11 years if read that way. There's just a lot going on.

This particular translation is worth twice the money just for the introduction. Vellacott does a great job of describing the political situation relevant at the performance of each play. Even more important, the readings of the play are very sophisticated, often rescuing plays from mediocre critical analysis. An enjoyable thing to do is to read Cliff's Notes interpretation after reading Vellacott, and then throwing them away.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Vellacott! 5 Jun 2009
By Ryan Kouroukis - Published on Amazon.com
What a shame that no one has written a review of Vellacott's Penguin edition of "Orestes and Other Plays".

These 6 plays are essential in Eurpipidean and Vellacott-ian studies!

They are amazing versions, the best on the market after comparing them to multiple other versions.

Vellacott includes fantastic introdutions and notes to: Orestes, Phoenecian Women, Suppliant Women, Children of Heracles, Andromache and Iphigenia in Aulis.

Like I said in my other review, Vellacott and Penguin brought Euripides into our modern world, and it is really to him that we are able to appreciate the Great Euripides!
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