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The Greek Plays

Sixteen Plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides

The Greek Plays( )
Author: Lefkowitz, Mary
Aeschylus,
Euripides,
Sophocles,
Editor: Romm, James
Series title:Modern Library Classics Ser.
ISBN:978-0-8129-9300-4
Publication Date:Aug 2016
Publisher:Random House Publishing Group
Imprint:Modern Library
Book Format:Hardback
List Price:USD $40.00
Book Description:

A landmark anthology of the masterpieces of Greek drama, featuring all-new, highly accessible translations of some of the world's most beloved plays, including Agamemnon, Prometheus Bound, Bacchae, Electra, Medea, Antigone, and Oedipus the King Featuring translations by Emily Wilson, Frank Nisetich, Sarah Ruden, Rachel Kitzinger, Mary Lefkowitz, and James Romm The great plays of Ancient Greece are among the most enduring and...
More Description

Book Details
Pages:864
Detailed Subjects: Literary Criticism / Ancient & Classical
Literary Criticism / Drama
Physical Dimensions (W X L X H):6.4 x 9.5 x 1.8 Inches
Book Weight:2.7 Pounds
Author Biography
Lefkowitz, Mary (Author)
Aeschylus was born at Eleusis of a noble family. He fought at the Battle of Marathon (490 b.c.), where a small Greek band heroically defeated the invading Persians. At the time of his death in Sicily, Athens was in its golden age. In all of his extant works, his intense love of Greece and Athens finds expression.

Of the nearly 90 plays attributed to him, only 7 survive. These are The Persians (produced in 472 b.c.), Seven against Thebes (467 b.c.), The Oresteia (458 b.c.)---which includes Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, and Eumenides (or Furies) --- Suppliants (463 b.c.), and Prometheus Bound (c.460 b.c.). Six of the seven present mythological stories. The ornate language creates a mood of tragedy and reinforces the already stylized character of the Greek theater.

Aeschylus called his prodigious output "dry scraps from Homer's banquet," because his plots and solemn language are derived from the epic poet. But a more accurate summation of Aeschylus would emphasize his grandeur of mind and spirit and the tragic dignity of his language. Because of his patriotism and belief in divine providence, there is a profound moral order to his plays. Characters such as Clytemnestra, Orestes, and Prometheus personify a great passion or principle. As individuals they conflict with divine will, but, ultimately, justice prevails.

Aeschylus's introduction of the second actor made real theater possible, because the two could address each other and act several roles. His successors imitated his costumes, dances, spectacular effects, long descriptions, choral refrains, invocations, and dialogue. Swinburne's (see Vol. 1) enthusiasm for The Oresteia sums up all praises of Aeschylus; he called it simply "the greatest achievement of the human mind." Because of his great achievements, Aeschylus might be considered the "father of tragedy."

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