Thursday, January 26, 2012


In my quest to read all of the books I own, quite a few ancient works stand in my way! First up is a volume of all of Euripides' and Aristophanes' plays. Fortunately, I've read quite a few of them already so I don't have to read their entire works right now, but I've started working my way through Euripides. I haven't gotten as much out of these as I have some of the other Greek plays, so I'm just doing mini-reviews. Maybe I've read all the good ones already? I did read a lot in my Greek tragedies class for my MA...Anyway, fortunately Jean at Howling Frog Books is hosting a Greek Classic Challenge and hopefully that will help me keep working my way through all the Greek classics on my shelves!

I had couldn't remember hearing of Rhesus, but apparently he's in the Illiad. He's one of the Trojan soldiers. I thought this play was funny because they talk about how horrible Odysseus is, that he's such a sneak and won't fight face-to-face, but he was a Greek and this was written by a Greek. I suppose that's why in the end he wins and kills Rhesus, the mighty warrior. :)

"Among mortals the same man is not dowered by nature with universal knowledge; each hath his special gift appointed him, thine is arms, another's is sage counsel." I thought it was interesting that even back then they recognized that different people have different types of gifts.

The Cyclops
This is the only satyr play we have an example of, which was a fourth humorous play shown after a series of three tragedies in ancient Greek theatre. This really just told the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops, so I felt like I was missing something.

This is about the children of Herakles, who are seeking protection after the death of their father. Eurystheus wants to kill them to prevent them for taking revenge upon him. A maiden must be sacrificed to ensure their safety and keep the city safe as it fights for them. Macaria, one of the daughters, volunteers. However, their mother helps capture Eurystheus, and they plan to kill him and they'll all be safe.

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