The Trojan Women (Greek Tragedy in New Translations) by Euripides

By Euripides

Between surviving Greek tragedies merely Euripides' Trojan girls exhibits us the extinction of an entire urban, a complete humans. regardless of its grim topic, or much more likely as a result centrality of that subject matter to the private fears of our personal age, this is often one of many particularly few Greek tragedies that frequently unearths its approach to the degree. right here the facility of Euripides' theatrical and ethical mind's eye speaks basically around the twenty-five centuries that separate our international from his. The subject matter is known as a double one: the soreness of the sufferers of conflict, exemplified via the girl who continue to exist the autumn of Troy, and the degradation of the victors, proven by means of the Greeks' reckless and eventually self-destructive habit. It deals a permanent photo of human fortitude in the middle of melancholy. Trojan ladies earnings precise relevance, in fact, in instances of battle. It provides a very severe account of human discomfort and uncertainty, yet one who can be rooted in concerns of energy and coverage, morality and expedience. moreover, the seductions of strength and the hazards either one of its workout and of resistance to it as portrayed in Trojan girls usually are not easily philosophical or rhetorical gambits yet a part of the lived adventure of Euripides' day. And their analogues in our personal day lie all too shut to hand. This new strong translation of Trojan ladies contains an illuminating advent, explanatory notes, a thesaurus, and proposals for additional analyzing.

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Extra info for The Trojan Women (Greek Tragedy in New Translations)

Example text

To avoid monotony, I vary degrees of stress among accented and unaccented syllables, I substitute anapestic and trochaic feet for iambs here and there, and I play the phrases off against the lines while making sure the line cuts into the sentence at relatively stable places, so that the line itself never ceases to be heard, even while the volume of it as a measure, as and a pattern of sound, is constantly changing. The shorter accentual lines of the odes reflect the intensification of feeling, as do the denser imagery and the forward lilt of the sentences, mimicking both the accelerating sense of doom and the struggle to preserve a sense of dignity in the face of catastrophic loss and suffering.

And I, I had to watch them, son by son, brought down By the Greek spear, and for every one of them I cut my hair in mourning at their tombs. I wept for their father, Priam, not from hearing That he was butchered at the household altar— I saw with my own eyes. I saw firsthand The city overrun and torched. I saw The hands of strangers take my daughters, 47 540 550 560 TROJAN WOMEN [485–519] Daughters I reared for husbands we would choose, But I raised them only to be stolen from me, Daughters, the daughters I’ll never see again, Who’ll never see their mother.

Whose wretched chattel am I to be? hecuba We’ll learn that any moment now. half-chorus 2 Who’ll take me—Argive or Phthian? Will I, poor wretch, be going to Some island far away from Troy? hecuba O god, O god, whose slave shall I be? Where in this wide world shall I live My life out, doing drudgework, Stooped, mechanical, a less-thanFeeble token of the dead? Shall I be a guard, stationed at Their doors? A nursemaid to their children? I who was once the queen of Troy? chorus AIAI, our ruined lives, this brutal outrage— What dirges you could sing!

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