Euripides and the Gods Hardback
Part of the Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture series
Many modern readers believe that, in his dramas, Euripides was questioning the nature and sometimes even the existence of the gods.
In Euripides and the Gods, eminent classicist Mary K.
Lefkowitz shows that the tragedian is not undermining ancient religion, but rather describing with a brutal realism what the gods are like, reminding his mortal audience of the limitations of human understanding.
Although some scholars have begun to express similar views about the theology of individual plays, no one so far has written an extended treatment of these issues for a general audience who do not necessarily know ancient Greek.
Lefkowitz will provide a book that will deal with all of his dramas, accessible to non-specialist readers, containing a more tolerant and nuanced understanding of ancient Greek religion: Euripides, like Homer, is making "a statement about the nature of the world and human life, terrible and dispassionate." That view of divinity was well known and understood in Euripides' own time. In spite of what has seemed to later critics his brutally realistic characterization of the gods, he was selected in virtually every year of his adult life to be one of the three poets allowed to put on a set of plays at the festival of Dionysus, and even after his death he remained the most popular and influential of the great playwrights in the Greek-speaking world.
This would hardly have been the case if his portrayal of the gods appeared impious to the majority of his audiences.
Like most of the author's distinguished publications in this field, the book will discuss a number of important related topics, including religion, philosophy, the surviving works of Euripides' contemporaries, and the theater and its significance to Greek society.
The result will be a compelling invitation to return to the dramatic masterpieces of Euripides with fresh eyes.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 320 pages, 5 illustrations
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- Publication Date: 18/02/2016
- Category: Plays, playscripts
- ISBN: 9780199752058