The Failure of Orestes

While many other Greek tragedies tend to reiterate already established myths and customs, Euripides's Orestes appears to be entirely his own invention. Chronologically, the plot of the play takes place after the events contained in Aeschylus's Libation Bearers. It was first performed in 408 BC, near the close of the Peloponnesian War. In Orestes, Electra recounts the story … Continue reading The Failure of Orestes

Brief Thoughts on The Trojan Women

Known in Latin as the Troades, Euripides's The Trojan Women was said by Aelian's Varia Historica (published in the third century A.D.) to have been performed for the first time in 415 BC at the 91st Olympiad. Ultimately, he won second place, losing to Xenocles, a now lost Athenian tragedian. The Trojan Women was part three of a group of three tragedies … Continue reading Brief Thoughts on The Trojan Women

Examining Euripides’s Helen

Thirty years prior to Euripides's first performance of Helen at the Dionysia in 412 BC, Herodotus of Halicarnassus echoed a controversial theory of the story of the Trojan War. In Book II of his famous Histories, or "Inquiries", Herodotus suggests that Helen of Sparta, wife of Menelaus, was not actually taken to Troy, but was instead transported by the gods … Continue reading Examining Euripides’s Helen