In this accessible and beautifully written study of Euripides, the first study of all the plays of Euripides for thirty years, J. Michael Walton provides a wide-ranging appreciation of the playwright’s entire canon. Euripides Our Contemporary treats these ancient dramas as vital engagements with issues of a moral, social, psychological, and political nature, as significant today as when the works were first performed. Walton moves with expert familiarity through all the plays, emphasizing what Euripides might have to say to us as our “contemporary.” The book considers how Euripides finds parallels to ordinary life in the world of myth, how characters behave under extraordinary pressure and how personal responsibility may be absolved by circumstance, and discusses the nature of his theater, the great roles, and the playwrights most influenced by his work.
J. Michael Walton is a theater historian, translator, and director, and Emeritus Professor of Drama at the University of Hull. His books on Greek tragedy include Greek Theatre Practice, The Greek Sense of Theatre: Tragedy Revived, and Found in Translation: Greek Drama in English.
“In this masterful reevaluation of Euripides, Michael Walton recasts the playwright in light of his resonance for today's translators and directors. Springing from the rehearsal room rather than the page, Walton shows us not only why we are ready for Euripides, but why we so desperately need him.”—Mary Louise Hart, J. Paul Getty Museum
"A useful, reader-friendly introduction aimed at non-specialists, Euripides Our Contemporary offers detailed summaries of Euripides' plays, along with keen observations on their relevance for today's theater. Walton demonstrates how the tragedian's 'shocks to the system' have lost none of their power over the centuries."—Rush Rehm, author of Radical Theatre: Greek Tragedy and the Modern World
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