Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytus by Euripides

By Euripides

This quantity of 3 of Euripides' such a lot celebrated performs bargains swish, inexpensive, metrical translations that express the wide variety of results of the playwright's verse, from the idiomatic speech of its discussion to the excessive formality of its choral odes.

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280 285 SvarleinEuripies-00Bk Page 16 Tuesday, July 17, 2007 12:04 PM 16 290 295 300 305 310 315 320 EURIPIDES [273–305] ADMETUS: Oh, god. What you say is so painful to hear— much worse than death, from my point of view. Please don’t betray me, please, by the gods, by the motherless children you’re turning your back on! Rise up, endure! With you dead, I wouldn’t exist. I’d be nothing. My life, or the end of it, lies in your hands. Yours is the love we revere, and the friendship. ALCESTIS: Admetus, you can see my situation.

King Eurystheus of Tiryns is a cousin of the hero Heracles and the master for whom Heracles must perform his Twelve Labors. While there is no canonical version of the labors’ motivation, Alcestis makes no reference to Heracles needing to atone for the murders of his family, so it likely engages the version that had Heracles serving Eurystheus because Zeus boasted just SvarleinEuripies-00Bk Page 7 Tuesday, July 17, 2007 12:04 PM [68–88] ALCESTIS 7 Admetus’ house will make this guest feel welcome, and he’ll take back Admetus’ wife by force.

In this Preface, I cite lines by their numbering in my translations. The Language My aim in these translations has been to be faithful to Euripides’ sense and to his poetry, with all that each of these involves, including diction, tone, connotation, context, echo, image, euphony, and meter. This endeavor leads to competing claims, of course, and at different times different types of faithfulness have taken precedence over others. As much as possible (given these competing claims), I have sought to translate individual Greek words consistently: for example, thymos is always “spirit,” and xxxiii SvarleinEuripies-00Bk Page xxxiv Tuesday, July 17, 2007 12:04 PM xxxiv TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE sôphrosynê is always “wise restraint” or a variation on that phrase.

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