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Synopsis

'Two things give Kitto's classic book its enduring freshness: he pioneered the approach to Greek drama through internal artistry and thematic form, and he always wrote in lively and readable English.' - Oliver Taplin, University of Oxford, UK

Why did Aeschylus characterize differently from Sophocles? Why did Sophocles introduce the third actor? Why did Euripides not make better plots? So asks H.D.F Kitto in his acclaimed study of Greek tragedy, available for the first time in Routledge Classics.

Kitto argues that in spite of dealing with big moral and intellectual questions, the Greek dramatist is above all an artist and the key to understanding classical Greek drama is to try and understand the tragic conception of each play. In Kitto’s words ‘We shall ask what the dramatist is striving to say, not what in fact he does say about this or that.’ Through a brilliant analysis of Aeschylus’s ‘Oresteia’, the plays of Sophocles including ‘Antigone’ and ‘Oedipus Tyrannus’; and Euripides’s ‘Medea’ and ‘Hecuba’, Kitto skilfully conveys the enduring artistic and literary brilliance of the Greek dramatists.

H.D.F Kitto (1897 – 1982) was a renowned British classical scholar. He lectured at the University of Glasgow from 1920-1944 before becoming Professor of Greek at Bristol University, where he taught until 1962.

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