Literary Classics

Alcestis and Other Plays by Euripides, Philip Vellacott

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By Euripides, Philip Vellacott

One of many maximum playwrights of historical Greece, the works of Euripides (484-406 BC) have been innovative of their depiction of tragic occasions because of fallacious humanity, and of their use of the gods as symbols of human nature. the 3 performs during this assortment express his talents because the sceptical questioner of his age. Alcestis, an early drama, tells the story of a queen who deals her personal lifestyles in trade for that of her husband; forged as a tragedy, it comprises passages of satire and comedy. The tragicomedy Iphigenia in Tauris melodramatically reunites the ill-fated youngsters of Agamemnon, whereas the natural tragedy of Hippolytus exhibits the deadly impression of Phaedra's unreasoning ardour for her chaste stepson. All 3 performs discover a deep gulf that separates guy from lady, and all depict a global ruled through amoral forces past human keep watch over.

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This air of realism was heightened by a promotional stunt Irving pulled off with the help of Henry Brevoort and James Kirke Paulding. In the weeks prior to publication, he published a report in the New York Evening Post that an elderly gentleman by the name of Knickerbocker had wandered off from his lodgings without paying his rent, leaving behind only a collection of papers in manuscript. In a subsequent issue, a letter to the editor reported that a gentleman matching Knickerbocker舗s description had been seen in the Hudson River Valley, walking north toward Albany.

Thus accoutred, he gravely walked into the room, with his ivory-headed ebony cane in one hand, and gently swaying his three-cornered beaver with the other.

374). This hoax was remarkably successful, so much so that for a time Irving舗s narrator gained greater notoriety than the author himself. The historical accuracy of his narrative of New York舗s history as the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam made his mock-heroic epic more than a Swiftean satire. It provided the newly formed nation with a basis for history that was free of associations with British colonial rule. 舡 America舗s need to declare its cultural independence from Britain intensified in the decade following the War of 1812.

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