Mel's Reviews > Euripides: Helen, Phoenician Women, Orestes

Euripides by Euripides
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's review
Dec 04, 12

bookshelves: 5th-century-lit, greek-literature, translation, play
Read in July, 2011

This was the first time I've read a Loeb classic edition and I have to say, even though the dual text was lost on me, I really liked them. The size was perfect for reading. The edition I had also had the Phonecian Women and Orestes but I'd already read both of those so I only read Helen. I can't help think that there was some huge cultural context missing while reading this book. While I could appreciate the impact of totally making the whole Trojan war pointless, and making Helen good and a devout wife, it just didn't seem as emotional to me as it probably did to the ancient Greeks. The closest analogy I can think of is the books that try to make Satan out as the good guy. What this reminded me of the most was "fix it fic", when someone just can't stand the ending that was given and needs to make it so the characters don't do the awful things they are supposed to do and end up living happily ever after. What I thought was interesting was the fact that in this play most of the parts were female, and it was the women who had all the brains and important descisions to make, Helen came up with their plan to escape, Theonoe had the gift of prophecy and was the one who decided if Helen and her husband could escape. And yet (according to the introduction) Euripides still got into lots of trouble by the women of Greece for the way he portrayed them. The play itself was alright, not as interesting as Aschelyus, as not much happened and there were no surprises. But it was still quite good. It's being put on at King's this week as their Greek play and I'm looking forward to watching it.
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