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Reading Group

Euripides: Four Plays for an Athenian Audience with Donald McDonough (12/6 session)

Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 11:30 AM | Whitridge Room | for members only | $60 for the set of four sessions

Euripides competed with two other playwrights for the Athenians’ first prize for a set of three tragic plays and a comic (possibly obscene) satyr play. We have none of his complete tetralogies, but the seminar mimics that Athenian competition by discussing each of a tragic trilogy—The Bacchae, Hippolytus, and Medea—ending with Alcestis, which Euripides presented instead of a satyr play. From his lifetime until ours, Euripides caused controversy. In his Poetics, Aristotle judged him the most tragic of playwrights, but in The Frogs Aristophanes had Aeschylus attack him as degenerate. He does not give his audience, then or ever, the expected, and the result can shock.

This seminar takes place over four Thursdays:
September 20: Euripides’ The Bacchae
October 18: Medea
November 8: Hippolytus
December 6: Alcestis
all at 11:30 AM in the Whitridge Room. 

Prof. McDonough recommends the following editions:
Euripides, Diane Svarlien ISBN-13 978-0-87220-822-3 (Hackett)
Euripides, James Morwood ISBN 978-0-19-954052-5 (Oxford)

To register for the full seminar, click here. Single sessions are $20 per person apiece. To register for single sessions only, call the Events Office at 212.288.6900 x230.