Three Plays of Euripides: Alcestis, Medea, The Bacchae

Three Plays of Euripides: Alcestis, Medea, The Bacchae


Language: English

Pages: 126

ISBN: 0393093123

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"Paul Roche...must be ranked among the great translators of the Greek dramas in our century."―Robert W. Corrigan

Here are three of Euripides' finest tragedies offered in vivid, modern translations.

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Peace be with you, even in the house Of death! [To ADMETUS] You know, with a woman like that, a man can find That marriage pays; otherwise, it’s a bad bargain. ADMETUS: I did not invite you to attend this funeral. You are not here as one of my friends; nor shall she Ever wear any gift of yours. Her grave will be, Without your contribution, furnished honourably. When I was dying – that was the time for you to show Sympathy. Then you stood back; you let another die, Though she was

SERVANT: You know, then, an old law laid down for mortal men – HIPPOLYTUS: I don’t. What law is this you’re questioning me about? SERVANT: This law: Abhor pride, and avoid exclusiveness. HIPPOLYTUS: Quite right; a man who is proud is seldom popular. SERVANT: A man easy to speak with has a certain charm? HIPPOLYTUS: Great charm indeed, and profit too, with little trouble. SERVANT: Among gods too – do you not expect this law to hold? HIPPOLYTUS: Yes – if we mortals use the

He lives a wretched life, nowhere and everywhere. IPHIGENIA: He lives! So much for my false dreams – they mean nothing.19 ORESTES: You are right. The gods themselves, even those we call prophetic, Are no more trustworthy than fleeting dreams. The world Of gods is as chaotic as our mortal world. What galls one is that, while still of sound mind, he should, By heeding the words of prophets, plunge himself into A depth of ruin only experience can fathom. CHORUS: And what of us?20 Do

defilement fall on you! Virgin child of Zeus and Leto, Artemis! If I may purge These men’s guilt, if we may sacrifice where sacrifice is right, Your shrine shall be clean, and we shall prosper well. The rest I pray Without words, to gods who know all things,32 and, Artemis, to you. IPHIGENIA, ORESTES, PYLADES and several guards go out towards the shore in solemn procession. THOAS and the remaining guards go into the temple. CHORUS: Long ago in Delos, in a valley of fruit- trees,

man’s view against the woman’s view. If modern critics notice this contrast at all, they tend to find the Elders mildly one-sided in their attitude, rather than painfully comic; and it seems even less likely that the original audience laughed at expressions which voiced what was substantially their own judgement. A man is lucky if he possesses a wife like Alcestis, and her death is for the moment a serious loss – but, whatever may be said now, in time the loss will prove reparable, as Heracles

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