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.