context-picture

Euripides Our Contemporary

J. Michael Walton

DOI: 10.5040/9781408174869

ISBN: 9781408112045

Euripides Our Contemporary is a major new study of the work of the great classical tragedian that illuminates his work and demonstrates both its vitality and how it continues to speak to us today. Taking a thematic approach to Euripides' plays it provides the reader with a wide-ranging and thorough appreciation of the writer's entire canon. For students, teachers and practitioners this is the best single-volume treatment of the writer's work, considering the plays for their accessibility and for their focus on issues and concerns which are as significant as ever in the modern world.

Divided into three sections, the book first examines 'Domesticating Tragedy', the manner in which Euripides gave the world of myth an application to ordinary life. The second section tackles the 'Grand Passions': characters under extraordinary pressure and the extent to which personal responsibility can be absolved through various aspects of circumstance. The third looks at the nature of Euripides' theatre and his acknowledgment of it, the great roles and the playwrights of the last hundred years whose craft seems most influenced by his work. An Appendix at the end of the book provides a short summary of the plots of all nineteen plays.

'A useful, reader-friendly introduction aimed at non-specialists, Euripides Our Contemporary offers detailed summaries of Euripides' plays, along with keen observations on their relevance for today's theater. Walton demonstrates how the tragedian's 'shocks to the system' have lost none of their power over the centuries.' Rush Rehm, author of Radical Theatre: Greek Tragedy and the Modern World

'In this masterful reevaluation of Euripides, Michael Walton recasts the playwright in light of his resonance for today's translators and directors. Springing from the rehearsal room rather than the page, Walton shows us not only why we are ready for Euripides, but why we so desperately need him.' Mary Louise Hart, Associate Curator of Antiquities, J. Paul Getty Museum