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Electra

de Euripides

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Based on the conviction that only translators who write poetry themselves can properly recreate the celebrated and timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the Greek Tragedy in New Translations series offers new translations that go beyond the literal meaning of the Greek in order to evoke the poetry of the originals. Under the general editorship of Peter Burian and Alan Shapiro, each volume includes a critical introduction, commentary on the text, full stage directions, and a glossary of the mythical and geographical references in the plays. This vital translation of Euripides' Electra recreates the prize-winning excitement of the original play. Electra, obsessed by dreams of avenging her father's murder, impatiently awaits the return of her exiled brother Orestes. When he arrives, the play mounts toward its first climax, a tender recognition scene. From that moment on, Electra uses Orestes as her instrument of vengeance. They kill their mother's husband, then their mother herself--and only afterward see the evil inherent in these seemingly just acts. But in his usual fashion, Euripides has imbued myth with the reality of human experience, counterposing suspense and horror with comic realism and down-to-earth comments on life.… (més)
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882.01 EUR
  ScarpaOderzo | Apr 26, 2020 |
Rated: B-The New Lifetime Reading Plan: Number 7e ( )
  jmcdbooks | Jan 28, 2013 |
I didn't enjoy Electra. It's partly that I truly don't like the character Electra herself, but that wouldn't matter so much if it weren't for the way that the play itself was constructed.

Why in the world did Orestes hide who he was in the first place? It has no point, not advancing the plot one whit for him to conceal his identity until the old tutor guessed it from a scar. And then after it was guessed, it was all tra-la, tra-la, of course you're Orestes, celebrations abound, let's continue. Why didn't he just come up to Electra and (once they were in the privacy of her house) tell her that he was his brother? It's a fake plot device made solely for the fabrication of 'tension,' and I don't like it.

There was one part that I did really enjoy, though: the chorus singing of the golden fleece. I have no idea what it had to do with the story, except that shearing hair seems to be a theme in this story. There's Orestes with his shorn lock on the tomb of Agamemnon, and Electra with her hair cropped off (although she claims it's snarled as well, which I would not have caught had it not been for the footnote). There's the short story of the golden fleece, incomplete and pretty much irrelevant as far as I can surmise, but lovely nonetheless. There are one or two other instances of hair being mentioned, enough for me to believe that it had a theme of some kind. Of what theme that might be, however, I have no idea.

Orestes' speech of praise for the peasant seems contrived simply for the use of lecturing the Greek citizens on how to value a man. Besides which, if the peasant were that worth and important, he would have had a name. Maybe. I mean, Euripides was one of those really original playwrights, who usually called a king "King" and a queen "Queen" and such.

All in all, no go. A few really lovely parts, but nothing worth bringing home to mother. Who is, incidentally, the murderer of your father. And who holds more awesome in one fingernail than Electra holds in her whole body. No, Orestes' and Electra's bodies combined. May they be smited by the furies and never whine again.
  clytemnestra215 | Feb 9, 2008 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Euripidesautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Denniston, J. D.Editorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Koolschijn, GerardTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Murray, GilbertTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Based on the conviction that only translators who write poetry themselves can properly recreate the celebrated and timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the Greek Tragedy in New Translations series offers new translations that go beyond the literal meaning of the Greek in order to evoke the poetry of the originals. Under the general editorship of Peter Burian and Alan Shapiro, each volume includes a critical introduction, commentary on the text, full stage directions, and a glossary of the mythical and geographical references in the plays. This vital translation of Euripides' Electra recreates the prize-winning excitement of the original play. Electra, obsessed by dreams of avenging her father's murder, impatiently awaits the return of her exiled brother Orestes. When he arrives, the play mounts toward its first climax, a tender recognition scene. From that moment on, Electra uses Orestes as her instrument of vengeance. They kill their mother's husband, then their mother herself--and only afterward see the evil inherent in these seemingly just acts. But in his usual fashion, Euripides has imbued myth with the reality of human experience, counterposing suspense and horror with comic realism and down-to-earth comments on life.

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