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Prometheus Bound and Other Plays: The Suppliants; Seven Against Thebes; The Persians (Classics) [Kindle Edition]

4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aeschylus (525–456 BC) brought a new grandeur and epic sweep to the drama of classical Athens, raising it to the status of high art. In Prometheus Bound the defiant Titan Prometheus is brutally punished by Zeus for daring to improve the state of wretchedness and servitude in which mankind is kept. The Suppliants tells the story of the fifty daughters of Danaus who must flee to escape enforced marriages, while Seven Against Thebes shows the inexorable downfall of the last members of the cursed family of Oedipus. And The Persians, the only Greek tragedy to deal with events from recent Athenian history, depicts the aftermath of the defeat of Persia in the battle of Salamis, with a sympathetic portrayal of its disgraced King Xerxes.

Philip Vellacott’s evocative translation is accompanied by an introduction, with individual discussions of the plays, and their sources in history and mythology.

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About the Author

Aeschylus was born of noble family near Athens in 525 BC. He took part in the Persian Wars, adn his epitahp represents him as fighting at Marathon. He wrote more than seventy plays, of which only seven have survived.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greek Tragedy 16 Jun. 2010
Aeschylus was a prolific playwright in his time, it is known that he wrote well over seventy odd plays but alas only seven still remain fully intact. Of those seven four are here presented in this slim volume. In these modern times it is hard to believe that Aeschylus was a pioneer, but whereas before him actors only conversed with the Chorus they now also interacted with each other, arguably a giant step forward in drama.

Arguably Aeschylus brought something else to the theatre. No longer were there loads of scenes of blood lust but actors had to learn lines and achieve realistic dialogue between themselves, the true art of acting. Therefore these plays are more about dialogue than any action. Prometheus Bound is the story of Prometheus being chained to the rocks and his discourse with others, including his prophecy to Io. The Suppliants is a tale of Danaus' daughters who have to leave their homeland to avoid arranged marriages. Seven Against Thebes is the tale of the downfall of the last remainders of the Oedipus family. The Persians is about the defeat of the Persians at Salamis and a portrayal of Xerxes.

There isn't loads of action here but there is great dialogue, which has made these plays still admired and which gained Aeschylus the accolade of being a classic playwright shortly after his death. There is an introduction here by Philip Velacott although I should warn you that this is in much smaller print that the actual plays themselves, also there are some notes. If you are interested in the history of the theatre or Greek tragedies as well as those who may have to study them, this is a great volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful text for English Students 11 Jun. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because my course demanded it, but I've actually found myself really enjoying the content! The layout is clear and easy to follow. There is a short introduction and a short bank of notes at the back. Being a Penguin product, the book itself is very good quality and arrived on time and in great condition. This really is the bare text though- if you want additional critical reading, context or commentary you might need other books as well.
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By jsym88
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The translations of Greek drama I have read so far (very few admittedly) by Philip Vellacott are excellent- in terms of how accurate I can't say either way (I don't speak Greek) but in terms of beauty of the language I have enjoyed it very much.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Maybe not the most mainstream of Aeschylus' plays (or the most lengthy) but each of these are well worth a read. The translation is pukka and if Aeschylus isn't nodding up in Olympus then I'm David Cameron.
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