The theme of Euripides' Alcestis blends the primitive folk-tale of the self-sacrificing bride, Alcestis, and of Heracles' heroic struggles with the ogre Death, with a morality tale of virtue rewarded, in this case twice rewarded. The Alcestis is the only tragedy which we know to have been produced in the position usually allotted (at the Athenian ...
The theme of Euripides' Alcestis blends the primitive folk-tale of the self-sacrificing bride, Alcestis, and of Heracles' heroic struggles with the ogre Death, with a morality tale of virtue rewarded, in this case twice rewarded. The Alcestis is the only tragedy which we know to have been produced in the position usually allotted (at the Athenian tragic festivals) to the semi-comic satyrplay. Like a satyr-play, it has a happy ending but does the poet intend his audience to interpret the play in quite such simple terms? Opinions differ widely but the ironic, slightly mocking tone of the play suggest, at least to some critics, that more sombre meanings may lie beneath the surface of this beautifully constructed little masterpiece.
304 pages. Softcover. Brand new book. GREEK LITERATURE. Euripides' Alcestis&emdash; perhaps the most anthologized Attic drama--is an ideal text for students reading their first play in the original Greek. Literary commentaries and language aids in most editions are too advanced or too elementary for intermediate students of the language, but in their new student edition, C. A. E. Luschnig and H. M. Roisman remedy such deficiencies. The introductory section of this edition provides historical and literary perspective; the commentary explains points of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary, as well as elucidating background features such as dramatic conventions and mythology; and a discussion section introduces the controversies surrounding this most elusive drama. In their presentation, Luschnig and Roisman have initiated a new method for introducing students to current scholarship. This edition also includes a glossary, an index, a bibliography, and grammatical reviews designed specifically for students of Greek language and culture in their second year of university study or third year of high school. Luschnig and Roisman, who have published numerous articles and books on Greek literature, bring to this volume decades of experience teaching classical Greek. "General readers could well benefit from using this book, as it contains valuable literary discussion and explication of the conventions of Greek drama."&emdash; Daniel H. Garrison, author of Sexual Culture in Ancient Greece C. A. E. Luschnig, Professor of Classics at the University of Idaho in Moscow, is the author of An Introduction to Ancient Greek and The Gorgon's Severed Head: Studies in Euripides' Alcestis, Electra, and Phoenissae. H. M. Roisman, Professor of Classics at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, is the author of Loyalty in Early Greek Epic and Tragedy and Nothing Is As It Seems: The Tragedy of the Implicit in Euripides' Hippolytus. (Key Words: Euripides, Alcestis, H. M. Roisman, C. A. E. Luschnig, Greek Literature, Classical Studies).
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