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Ten Plays

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  1,499 Ratings  ·  43 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 ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published August 1st 1990 by Bantam Classics (first published -408)
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Karl H.
Jul 01, 2012 Karl H. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 08, 2010 Meghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 13, 2015 Kathleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, anthology, 2015
I read this because my friend was going to see the Bakkhai and I wanted to talk to her about it, plus I've always wanted to read the Iphigenia plays, Medea, Electra, and The Trojan Women, and while I was reading six of the plays in the book I might as well read the other four. This turned out to be varyingly good for me.

General comments: Roche is kind of a weird translator. Some of the plays (most notably the Bakkhai) have noticable gaps in the text, and he's flat out made up segments of verse t
Apr 07, 2013 David rated it really liked it
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
Lillian Wheeler
Apr 06, 2012 Lillian Wheeler rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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
Jun 03, 2011 Donna rated it really liked it
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.
Since this is ten whole plays, I feel justified in my lengthy response. In fact, these ten plays led to a whole string of related reading: Linda Hogan’s American Medea Indios, John Camp’s Archaeology of Athens with its descriptions of Classical theaters, and of course Anne Carson’s translations and essays. I’m on a bit of a kick.

Sophocles was my first love, and at first I was sadly disappointed in Euripides by comparison. I remember copying large swaths of Sophocles’ choral odes into notebooks i
Mar 13, 2017 communia rated it really liked it
The book is cheap and well translated; although at some points it's quite clear that it's supposed to be used as a theater script rather than a homely reading. The introductions are brief and nothing much to be mentioned in the book description.
Christopher Greffin
Ten Plays Euripides, translated by Moses Hadas and John Mclean, gives a solidly satisfying experience of the works of the Greek playwright. Euripides is often considered the least significant of the three great tragedians of Athens in the 5th century BC, behind Aeschylus and Sophocles, and of the time that was undoubtedly true he did not win as much praise. However there happens to be more surviving plays from Euripides than there are from other two combined (17 compared to 14). This book has th ...more
May 05, 2008 Nathanial rated it liked it
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
Dec 29, 2013 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-100
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's okay.

The collection contains:
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
Sep 06, 2013 Bbrown rated it liked it
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
Sep 03, 2008 Manuel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Scott Cox
Jan 17, 2016 Scott Cox rated it it was amazing
These tragic plays by Euripides (~400 BC) are less well-known than those by the elder Sophocles, or his contemporary Aristophanes. However he was supposedly a favorite of Socrates (as well as by George Bernard Shaw in much later times). Some memorable lines from his plays: "You are not satisfied with what you have; it takes absence to make your heart grow fonder." (Hippolytus); "You follow your whims without a second thought; this is wicked. One can no longer blame men for imitating the splendid ...more
Kelli Mcbride
May 25, 2012 Kelli Mcbride rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 28, 2015 Celina marked it as partially-read  ·  review of another edition
I owned this book years ago but gave it away in a move. A few weeks ago I saw this copy in a charity bin so I picked it up for $1. Not sure what I was thinking, trying to read one of these plays with no academic support or context or background in Greek. Particularly The Bacchae. Might read more, but probably not.
Nov 19, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this translation of Euripedes and felt it captured a very modern perspective and aspect of his writing. My favorite part of the translation has to be this though: [FROM THIS POINT ON THE GREEK BECOMES MORE AND MORE SUSPECT.] pp 398.
Carlos Contreras
Aug 01, 2015 Carlos Contreras rated it it was amazing
Just google the man. He is one of the three greats of Greek tragedy. If you don't already love Greek mythology, you will after reading his work. Euripides' gods are as powerful as ever, but can be just a hideous as any mortal.
Nov 10, 2009 Eric rated it it was ok
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.
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
Aug 05, 2010 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...
May 26, 2011 Summisse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now this is drama!
Jun 19, 2012 Howard rated it liked it
I only read "Medea." This tragedy is probably more exciting on stage, but I have my doubts. The prose translation is dull and unremarkable.
Not my favorite translation, but a bargain for ten plays.
Nov 18, 2008 P.D. rated it it was amazing
As Chico said, "Euripides jean, Eumenides jeans."

Euripides is my favorite of the surviving Greek tragedians.
May 14, 2013 Neha rated it really liked it
read 5/10 plays (supposed to read 7 but oh well)

Iphigenia at Aulis
Iphigenia in Tauris
The Trojan Women
Dec 06, 2013 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, plays
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.
Feb 04, 2012 Corinna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only read Hippolytus, but I thought it was a beautiful translation and not too difficult to read. The fact that the footnotes were often in Greek did not help me that much.
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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
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