Orestes and Other Plays
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Written during the long battles with Sparta that were to ultimately destroy ancient Athens, these six plays by Euripides brilliantly utilize traditional legends to illustrate the futility of war. The Children of Heracles holds a mirror up to contemporary Athens, while Andromache considers the position of women in Greek wartime society. In The Suppliant Women, the difference between just and unjust battle is explored, while Phoenician Women describes the brutal rivalry of the sons of King Oedipus, and the compelling Orestes depicts guilt caused by vengeful murder. Finally, Iphigenia in Aulis, Euripides' last play, contemplates religious sacrifice and the insanity of war. Together, the plays offer a moral and political statement that is at once unique to the ancient world, and prophetically relevant to our own.
- Penguin Books Ltd, February 2006
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