Women on the Edge: Four Plays by Euripides


Ruby Blondell, Bella Zweig, Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, Mary-Kay Gamel. Women on the Edge: Four Plays by Euripides. Routledge: 1999.

Women on the Edge, a collection of Alcestis (Rabinowitz), Medea (Blondell), Helen (Zweig), and Iphigenia at Aulis (Gamel), provides a broad sample of Euripides' plays focusing on women. Each play shows women in various roles--slave, unmarried girl, devoted wife, alienated wife, mother, daughter--providing a range of evidence about the kinds of meaning and effects the category "woman" conveyed in ancient Athens. The female protagonists in these plays test the boundaries--literal and conceptual--of their lives.They take actions and raise issues central to the plays in which they appear, sometimes in strong opposition to male characters. The four plays in this collection offer examples of women who support the status quo and women who oppose and disrupt it; sometimes these are the same characters. The translations are accurate and readable, and the notes are designed to help modern readers understand these dramas in their original cultural context.

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