Home Feed
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
post image

Intro. to Euripides' Orestes. This is the reading of the play that I took from the deus ex machina ending.

The Amber Fury | Natalie Haynes
post image

I‘m not totally sure what I feel about this one. It made me want to keep reading, but there were elements missing for me; main character Alex didn‘t gel with me.

The Phoenician Women | Euripides, Peter Burian, Brian Swann
post image

This tragedy is packed to the brim with the mythological events it references. It takes some of the main concerns of the Aeschylus' play Seven Against Thebes but with key twists; Jocasta is still alive & sees her sons die, then proceeds to kill herself. Oedipus, having blinded himself, is also still alive. Despite the hectic nature of the play, this felt poignant, especially towards the end with Antigone rallying with her cast-out father, Oedipus.

batsy I read the translation by Elizabeth Wyckoff. The painting is "Farewell of Oedipus to the Corpses of His Wife and Sons" by Edouard Toudouze (1871). 3mo
83 likes1 stack add1 comment
The Eumenides | Aeschylus
post image


An ancient Greek playwright goes to a tailor to get some trousers fixed.

The tailor looks at the trousers and says, “Euripides?”

The playwright nods. “Yeah. Eumenides?”

Ruthiella 🤣🤣🤣 3mo
GingerAntics 🤣😂🤣 3mo
LauraJ 😹😹😹 Oh, that‘s wonderfully terrible! 3mo
BookNAround Love it. 3mo
37 likes4 comments
Helen | Euripides
post image

Euripides is the king of screwball tragicomedy, & that's a compliment. He is the one tragedian that reads like proto-Shakespeare. I like the screwball element. The twist here is that the Helen that drove foolish men to wars is a mirage, while the real Helen bides her time & reveals a sharp mind by degrees. Helen & Menelaus get to work like a sweeter, nonviolent Bonnie & Clyde, & then Euripides sends in the demi-gods to give us a "happy" ending.

batsy I read the translation by Richmond Lattimore. Image is from Greek pottery c. 450-440 BC showing Helen, centre, with Menelaus on the left. 3mo
69 likes2 stack adds1 comment
post image

#AlphabetGame @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
Letter O

I'm going with Oedipus the King by Sophocles, a stunning play that feels very modern, like a detective story in some ways, a thriller in others, & a psychological novel—all in one.

Another O play that deserves a mention is Shakespeare's Othello, & also Aeschylus's Oresteia, though I'm cheating with the latter because it's a sequence of three plays :)

merelybookish I taught this a few times and was so blown away by it. I think the students thought I was nuts. 🤣 3mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Thank you for playing! 3mo
batsy @merelybookish That's so great! As an adult I look back and realise my best learning experiences were with teachers who couldn't restrain their enthusiasm 😁 3mo
See All 6 Comments
batsy @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks You're welcome! 3mo
vivastory Oedipus & Oresteia are both favorites. I have greatly enjoyed revisiting the tragedies, inspired by your posts. 3mo
batsy @vivastory I am so glad! These plays will never get "old", so to speak ? 3mo
67 likes2 stack adds6 comments
post image

Iphigeneia is a strange, wayward character because of her circumstances: offered as a sacrifice to Artemis by her father Agamemnon, saved by Artemis herself and taken to Taurica to serve as a high priestess of Artemis, overseeing the ritual sacrifice of foreigners. Iphigenia‘s back & forth with Orestes (before she learns who he is) reminded me of an Ivy Compton-Burnett novel. The dialogue's pacing, the swift sharp truth of the aphoristic lines.

batsy Indeed, an ICB novel does seem to traverse through similar themes as a Greek tragedy. This one is resolved with what seems like a bit of a random deus ex machina by Euripides‘s standards, but it doesn‘t matter when in Philip Vellacott‘s translation we get lines that give Orestes the veneer of a superhero who has earned his right to be badass: “My name‘s Orestes, let me tell you; I‘m her brother, and now I‘m going to take my long-lost sister home.” 4mo
batsy Painting: "Iphigenia in Tauris" (1893) by Valentin Serov 4mo
nathandrake1997 Exquisite review ❤️ Always wanted to read Greek plays and I might start with Euripedes soon 😄❤️ 4mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you! I feel like you can't really go wrong with Euripides 💕 4mo
tokorowilliamwallace I own the Goethe retelling of this, though I haven't gotten to it yet, as I don't often read drama/plays. 4mo
86 likes4 stack adds5 comments
post image

I was looking at different versions of Sophocles' Antigone online when I noticed the tagged book. What a fascinating project! Aeschylus' Oresteia, the only trilogy from ancient Greece to have survived, consists of Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers & The Eumenides. It tells of Agamemnon's short lived triumphant return home & the fall-out of his murder. It is a moving & powerful work that speaks of the social move from vigilantism to a judicial👇

vivastory system. The endless cycle of bloodshed & revenge echoes down through Shakespeare & even to Kurosawa's magnificent adaptation of Hammett's Red Harvest. Rather than offering new translations of the three originals, Carson has translated a play by each of the 3 tragedians, as the pub. site says, “three different versions of the tragedy of the house of Atreus.“ These works are like epic poems in that diff translations offer entirely new versions. (edited) 4mo
Liz_M I loved this 4mo
vivastory @Liz_M I'm glad to hear that! I'm kicking myself for not picking up Grief Lessons during the recent NYRB holiday flash sale. 4mo
55 likes3 comments
The Trojan Women | Euripides
post image

An affecting tragedy that has the women take centre stage. I'm always excited to meet Cassandra again because she upsets the whole order of things with whatever she says. I also loved the smackdown between Helen and Hecuba. I read the translation by Richmond Lattimore.

Lindy Thanks for mentioning which translation you read. I was thinking I‘d like to read a more straightforward translation after enjoying Anne Carson‘s adaptation of this play. 4mo
Graywacke Enjoying your posts as you progress. I‘m surprised that this left such an impression on me. It lacks…well a plot. Bunch of sad speeches, iirc. Are you tempted to read Pat Barker‘s version? I‘ve thought about it. 4mo
sarahbarnes I just started reading Call Me Cassandra in which the MC believes he is the reincarnation of Cassandra. 4mo
See All 14 Comments
vivastory This one left a big impression on me 4mo
vivastory @Lindy This is a really interesting collection. It contains various translations. Trojan Women is translated by Emily Wilson 4mo
Lindy @vivastory Oooooh, Emily Wilson. I love her translation of Homer. 4mo
vivastory @Lindy I plan on reading her version next year right before the release of Iliad 👏 4mo
batsy @Lindy That's the graphic novel, right? That looks really good 🙂 4mo
batsy @Graywacke Yes, I'd like to! I had The Silence of the Girls on my radar too but I'd like to read the Iliad before I attempt that. 4mo
batsy @sarahbarnes That one has been on my radar! How are you liking it? The concept is pretty intriguing. 4mo
batsy @vivastory It does have that effect! I found the interplay between the different pov particularly good, and Euripides can write female characters with depth. Thanks for the rec for The Greek Plays; haven't heard of it and immediately added to the TBR. 4mo
vivastory @batsy When I first read the Greek tragedies Euripides initially struck me as the least interesting of the 3, but I have found that several of his works have stuck with me as favorites since reading them. When I start rereading the plays I will def be dipping into this volume frequently. 4mo
sarahbarnes I just started it, but so far I really like his writing style and the way the story fluidly moves back and forth in time. 4mo
batsy @sarahbarnes That sounds promising! 4mo
98 likes1 stack add14 comments
Heracles | Euripides
post image

"But at the peak of [Heracles's] good fortune, when all his cares seem to be at an end and the tyrant is slain, horror and madness ensue." So goes the preface to this tragedy by Euripidies, which I read in John Davie's translation. This of course made me think of that Denzel Washington quote about Will Smith post-slap: "At your highest moment, be careful, that‘s when the devil comes for you". In the world of Greek tragedies, god & devil are one.

batsy This is an intriguing play of contradictions involving hubris, success, faith & the role of the gods as the means of understanding why people behave the way they do. Heracles is legendary for his labours, but while cursed by Madness he kills his wife & children. It is said that Athens in the 5th-century had a theological revolution, & this play reflects that in its questions about self-determination & free will vs being the gods' playthings. 5mo
batsy Sculpture: "Hercules (Heracles) and the Hydra", Paul Manship, 1964 5mo
Suet624 I think I need a playbook to help me understand why people behave the way they do. 5mo
See All 21 Comments
Graywacke Such a cool sculpture and beautiful little stone base. Also great post. @Suet624 - let me know what you find. 🙂 5mo
sarahbarnes Man, what a great post. Humans, I tell you. 🙃 5mo
Billypar Great review as always: I love that it draws a line between ancient Greek tragedy and the Will Smith slap 😀 Given all of the classic texts you've read by now, I feel I need to ask that newcomer question - are there works you would recommend starting with, or just favorites that any reader can tackle with Wikipedia for context? 5mo
batsy @Suet624 Ahaha! Good luck and let me know if you find one 😆 5mo
batsy @Graywacke Thank you! And isn't the sculpture just great? You feel like it's about to move. 5mo
batsy @sarahbarnes Thank you! Humans...what even is going on 🥴 5mo
batsy @Billypar Thanks! That Will Smith moment lives on ? I'm reading the plays chronologically based on this https://wutheringexpectations.blogspot.com/2021/12/the-ancient-greek-plays-in.ht... which might be something if you're interested in a deep dive. If not I'd go for some from each: Aeschylus's The Oresteia, & Prometheus Bound is great as a "standalone"; Antigone & Elektra (especially in the Anne Carson translation) by Sophocles. 5mo
batsy @Billypar By Euripides, maybe the Medea and the Bacchae? And then for the comedies, perhaps Lysistrata and The Clouds to see if Aristophanes is for you (I kinda love him but GR shows me that many don't 😆) 5mo
vivastory @Billypar You might be interested in this recently pub. work 5mo
Billypar @batsy @vivastory Thanks for all the recommendations: I will check them out! I think some readers come down hard on classic works after being forced to read them in school, but I have good memories of Thucydides' History of the Pelop War in a college course, even if the rest is a bit hazy. I'm interested in dipping my toe back in. 5mo
vivastory @Billypar I binge read the Greek tragedies over the course of a summer about 10 years ago. Suba's posts have me recalling that experience & I am planning on revisiting my favorite works soon. 5mo
Cathythoughts Powerful post 💫 5mo
DivineDiana I had not heard Denzel Washington‘s quote. How appropriate! 5mo
batsy @DivineDiana Isn't it! Felt so apt. 5mo
chapter_fifty2017 Euripides such ancient texts stir the soul !! 5mo
batsy @chapter_fifty2017 These texts certainly do! 5mo
86 likes1 stack add21 comments