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Medea, in which a spurned woman takes revenge upon her lover by killing her children, is one of the most shocking of all the Greek tragedies. Dominating the play is Medea herself, a towering figure who demonstrates Euripides’ unusual willingness to give voice to a woman’s case. Alcestis, a tragicomedy, is based on a magical myth in which Death is overcome, and The Children of Heracles examines conflict between might and right, while Hippolytus deals with self-destructive integrity and moral dilemmas. These plays show Euripides transforming awesome figures of Greek myths into recognizable, fallible human beings. John Davie’s accessible prose translation is accompanied by a general introduction and individual prefaces to each play.
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