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Grief Lessons: Four Plays: Four Plays By Euripi (New York Review Books (Paperback))

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Two interesting characters that also make an appearance in the play and whose presence lends to the mystery of its interpretation are the seer Tiresias and Pentheus’s grandfather, Kadmos.

His plays were shockers: he unmasked heroes, revealing them as foolish and savage, and he wrote about the powerless–women and children, slaves and barbarians–for whom tragedy was not so much exceptional as unending. Together, Iris and Lyssa drive Herakles mad, prompting him to kill the family he has just protected. Another play where it's the gods who cause suffering, not other people, perhaps to illustrate the random misfortune of reality.Again, I was surprised at how modern his voice, which may be attributed more to the translator, Anne Carson, but his humor again was evident. The drama presents the god Dionysos arriving in Thebes disguised as a mortal to establish his cult in that city and exact a brutal punishment on his cousin, King Pentheus, who denies the existence of the god. Olympus beside Zeus—who, in the myth, fathered Herakles with a mortal, Alcmene, the wife of a Theban general, Amphitryon—seems like a mashup of “Survivor” and “American Idol. If Anne Carson took up a sole career as a translator of Greek tragedy, I would only be slightly mad.

because he doesn't quite rescue her from death untouched, she has to stay silent three days because she is already polluted by death. In the end, Pentheus gets his comeuppance and Dionysos firmly establishes his rites in Thebes: the god’s rage is born of his grief and is manifests itself in the decapitation of the king. S. Eliot Prize, Plainwater: Essays and Poetry, and Glass, Irony and God, shortlisted for the Forward Prize. Instead of actors on a stage, we have Bruno’s dogs and cows (the captive Trojan women), a surging sea (Poseidon), a pair of overalls (Athena), a poplar and sapling (Hektor’s wife Andromache and their son Astyanax), Helen alternately as a silver fox and a hand mirror, and Menelaos as “some sort of gearbox clutch or coupling mechanism. And you defiant old men will be groaning not just for Herakles' children but for your own house as it falls.

It is that ability to act, however constrained and imperfect our actions may be, which makes us interesting and unpredictable.

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