Stephen Bird's Reviews > Euripides V: Electra / The Phoenician Women / The Bacchae

Euripides V by Euripides
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's review
Oct 20, 2011

it was amazing
Read from October 02 to 20, 2011

After reading the introduction to this series, I expected something much more fractured than what I encountered on the page; however, I found Euripides' style in this work to be very coherent. After reading Aeschylus, I noticed the aesthetic jump that Euripides had taken via the psychological subtext inherent in his characters. Whereas reading Aeschylus felt flat (although I enjoyed "Agamemnon"); there was too much exposition in Aeschylus; too much that did not expedite the forward motion of his plays. Whereas with Euripides, one is transported directly into the action that is happening in the present moment of the play, by means of the narrative, as well as the dialogue. Also noteworthy is Euripides' technique of having the characters exchange one-liners in dialogue. Although I immediately connected to all of the dramas in this edition, "The Bacchae" is a standout. It's a dark, crazy, absurd and even funny play; the highlight being the "Celebrity Death Match" between Pentheus and Dionysus. As grim as scenario of "The Bacchae" is, it often reads like a comedy (the scene with Pentheus "in drag" after having been hypnotized by Dionysus is hysterical). Euripides was ahead of his time, avant-garde; therefore of the great and / or known Greek playwrights, he was the one who garnered the fewest prizes. I'm looking forward to reading "Hippolytus" in Euripides I of this series.

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10/02/2011 page 2
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