Ten Plays
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Ten Plays

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4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  958 ratings  ·  30 reviews
The first playwright of democracy, Euripides wrote with enduring insight and biting satire about social and political problems of Athenian life.In contrast to his contemporaries, he brought an exciting--and, to the Greeks, a stunning--realism to the "pure and noble form" of tragedy.For the first time in history, heroes and heroines on the stage were not idealized:as Sophoc...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published August 1st 1990 by Bantam Classics (first published -408)
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Karl H.
A word about the translation: Paul Roche does a great job, with a few caveats. These translations seem to be made for stage productions of Euripides, so they tend to spell everything out. In some cases this is nice, like during scenes where the staging is crucial to understanding the action. In some cases, like when he completely makes up parts of a play that are missing, it can be bad. He notes when he thinks the play is not reputable or when he has to fill in the gaps, so I’m inclined to think...more
David
I was hoping to find a simple copy of the classic The Bacchae but instead stumbled across this wonderful collection of ten Euripides plays. This English translation is easy to read and though there isn't much in the way of footnotes or long introductions, the text speaks for itself and rarely leaves you confused. Each play has a simple single-page introduction with an illustration and helps develop any historical background (ie, how old was Euripides when he made this particular play, was Greece...more
Meghan
ALCESTIS
If you were married and you knew your spouse was going to die and you also knew you could put yourself in his or her stead, would you? If the answer is yes, are you a good spouse? Would people honor you and revere your decision? Should you be able to ask your spouse to not remarry after you are gone?

On the opposite side, if your spouse chose to, would you allow your spouse to die for you? If the answer is yes, are you a good spouse? Would people honor you and revere your decision? Would...more
Lillian Wheeler
Paul Roche's translations are very good: readable and often preserving elements of the original Greek. Pay attention to his footnotes, though, since that is where he notes problem lines and/or his own interpolations (in particular in the Bacchae).
I found his introductions not particularly useful, and the stage directions he inserted too heavy-handed and not allowing the reader to bring enough of his/her imagination to the text (not to mention that there aren't stage directions in the Greek). Aft...more
Bbrown
Some of the plays featured in this collection are the best Euripides ever wrote, namely Medea and Hippolytus which are just as emotionally devastating today as they were 2500 years ago. Some other plays are strong ones as well, like the wonderfully morbid The Bacchants. Unfortunately a large number of these plays are rather unremarkable. Euripides' play Electra is substantially inferior to Aeschylus' interpretation of the same events presented in The Libation Bearers, and Iphigenia at Aulis has...more
David Spencer
Euripides, or so I've heard, was Shakespeare's favourite Ancient Greek playwright. Makes sense to me. They both use complex, realistic characters and mysticism, bad theology and mythology are used only as a subtle satire against easy answers rather than as a cornerstone of plot resolution (not that I'm bashing Aeschylus or Sophocles). But let's be real here, E-Piddy has more to say to a modern audience than either of his distinguished forbears, and won less prizes in his own time to boot! Defini...more
Alex
This is the edition I'd recommend to buy. Well, if you have a Kindle. (It's only like $6 for Kindle.) I hate Signet editions in paper - they're cheap - but the advantage to this one is it's one of the few collections of all the major plays in one volume, and Roche's translation is perfectly good.

Plays I've read
Hippolytos (five stars; no distinct review)
Medea (five stars; half-assed review)
Trojan Women (four)
Alcestis (four)
The Bacchae (four)
Iphigenia at Taurus (four)
Cyclops (three)

Personal n...more
Nathanial
Jul 31, 2008 Nathanial rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: banished daughters and ruined sons
Shelves: drama
The guy could write.

Didn't need stage directions, either, 'cuz the characters usually said what they were doing as they did it. "Oh, my anguished daughter, I press a cool cloth to your feverish brow, and cry out to the gods, when will your agony cease! Ai!" Better yet, he's got quick, believable dialogues, which (according to the editor) he practically invented: recognizable characters full of human failings and foibles, motivated by complex desires and hemmed in by familiar fears.

Not so much...more
Manuel
This book contributed to my supreme dickery first and foremost because it's probably what made me say, "You know what...I think I'll give this playwriting racket a try." It also helped that Euripides was kind of a dick himself. There's something very modern, particularly in this translation, about Euripides. At the time it was a rule that tragedy was to show men as they should be, the best of men and comedy should show the worst. Euripides made Theseus a dumbass in Hippolytus, and Jason is simi...more
Kelli Mcbride
I adore Euripides and have read all existing plays. I've also read many of them in different translations. I give this book 1 star not because of the plays but because of Roche who inserts his own interpretations and stage directions, which at times completely change the play. For example, at the end of The Trojan Women, the directions show Hecuba falling down dead but there is nothing in the text that indicate this. I find that unforgivable in a translation. Yes, sometimes a translator or edito...more
Christin
Ok, didn't read all ten, just Madea and Bacchae, the famous ones. Maybe I'll read the others someday.

But duuuuuude. Paul Roche. Translator guy. SHUT. THE FUCK. UP. I don't want to read your stupid stage directions that aren't in the original. I don't want to read your damn footnotes about how John Keats knew his Euripides! What joy! I SERIOUSLY don't need you adding entire passages and choral odes just because they're missing in the manuscript but there must have been some there. I came here fo...more
Donna
I enjoyed these plays...I read the 6 recommended by Clifton Fadiman - Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytus, The Trojan Women, Electra, The Bacchants. All were highly readable. My favorites were the last 3.

This is book 7 of 133 books in Clifton Fadiman's The New Lifetime Reading Plan.
Eric
La primera vez que leí teatro griego, me pareció la cosa más estéril y foránea que había encontrado. Sin embargo, ahora debo reconocer que encontré algunas frases que me llenaron de gozo. No obstante, no será nunca mi literatura favorita.
Patrick
My favorite of the big three- less bombastic than Sophocles and Aeschylus. Almost modern sounding at times. Willing to mix some humor into his tragedies. And Roche's translation works very well.
John
Jan 03, 2013 John rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: plays
This is the edition with prose translations by Moses Hadas and John McLean. I read five of the ten plays: Alcestis, Medea, Trojan Women, Electra and The Bacchants.
Courtney
1) Alcestis
2) Medea
3) Hippolytus
4) Andromache
5) Ion
6) Trojan Women
7) Electra
8) Iphigenia among the Taurians
9) The Bacchants
10) Iphigenia at Aulis
Howard
I only read "Medea." This tragedy is probably more exciting on stage, but I have my doubts. The prose translation is dull and unremarkable.
Neha
read 5/10 plays (supposed to read 7 but oh well)

Medea
Iphigenia at Aulis
Iphigenia in Tauris
The Trojan Women
Hippolytus
Carina
Euripides' plays are amazing, no doubt about that. However, Roche's translation is so gruesome, it reads like the script of a soap opera.
P.D.
As Chico said, "Euripides jean, Eumenides jeans."

Euripides is my favorite of the surviving Greek tragedians.
Sarah
Jun 14, 2013 Sarah added it
Reading it for class. I'm running short on time, so I'm faced with having to SparkNote half of it...But...yeah...
Sam Webb
I have not read all the plays contained in this book but did enjoy the ones I completed.
Chelsi Cassilly
Great plays! All very riveting with their action and messed-up characters. Medea is psycho.
kayla**
Very interesting plays! Hopefully I can manage to remember the details for my midterm! :)
Shawn
More good translations of ten greek tragedies. I enjoyed these very much.
David
lent itself surprisingly well to transatlantic travel
Sazuru
Nice to have so many plays together; clear and readable.
Rjones2818
I'm on my fifth copy and I also have a copy on my nook. :)
Victoria Rodriguez
I can see where Shakespeare got his inspiration!
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(Greek: Ευριπίδης )
Euripides (Ancient Greek: Εὐριπίδης) (ca. 480 BC–406 BC) was the last of the three great tragedians of classical Athens (the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles). Ancient scholars thought that Euripides had written ninety-five plays, although four of those were probably written by Critias. Eighteen of Euripides' plays have survived complete. It is now widely believed that wh...more
More about Euripides...
Medea Medea and Other Plays Bacchae Euripides 1: Alcestis/The Medea/The Heracleidae/Hippolytus The Trojan Women

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