His total output is said to have been 92 plays. He was the most popular of the Athenian tragedians. In or he left Athens and went to Macedonia at the invitation of King Archelaus, where he died in He was buried at Arethusa in Macedonia.
Produced in Athens in B. As Herdsman to Admetus, Apollo had made the herds increase, and had helped Admetus win his wife Alcestis, daughter of Pelias son of Poseidon and Tyro , by yoking a lion and a wild boar to a chariot.
Since Admetus honored Apollo , Apollo agreed to prolong his life beyond the fated day of death. But somebody must die on that day, and Admetus must get a substitute. No one not even Admetus' very aged father and mother would volunteer, until his loyal wife Alcestis offered.
She is now dying, for the day of the play is the day appointed for Admetus to die. Chorus of Old Men of Pherae bewail the approaching death of Alcestis, and comment on her virtues. Admetus and Alcestis: Alcestis is raving. Admetus comforts her.
Admetus agrees to her request. Alcestis bids farewell to the children and dies.
Heracles appears. He is on his way to Thrace at the command of his cousin Eurystheus to acquire the flesh-eating horses of Diomedes.
Heracles calls at the Palace, and the King out of a sense of consideration for a guest conceals the tragedy of Alcestis and the mourning in progress. Heracles, aware of a death but not whose, seeks to withdraw, but Admetus makes him stay and be entertained. Pheres his dad comes to join the funeral and praises Alcestis.
Admetus, however, refuses Pheres' participation, accusing him of not having volunteered out of selfishness and cowardice. He disowns his father and mother. In reply, Pheres recalls everything he did for Admetus, and points out how sweet a thing life is for everyone; nobody should be asked to die for another.
Euripides : Phoenician Women. These goddesses promised me that Admetus could escape an immediate death by giving in exchange another corpse to the powers below. Details if other :. His close friends and his parents decline to do so, but his wife Alcestis agrees that she will be his substitute. In the end, it's not important that we make sense of this massive work.
He then accuses Admetus of being selfish and cowardly for not dying at his proper time. The funeral procession then moves on. The hero enters on stage and is told who has actually died. Shocked into soberness, Heracles vows to do everything to restore Alcestis to life. He leaves to do battle at the grave with Thanatos.
Alcestis is an Athenian tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Euripides. It was first produced at the City Dionysia festival in BC. Euripides presented it as. Enter Apollo from the palace of Admetus. He is wearing a quiver and carrying a bow. Apollo House of Admetus! In you I brought myself to taste the bread of.
He is apparently suicidal. But Heracles encourages Admetus to remarry and take the girl. In the Alcestis, the title character sacrifices her own life to save that of her husband, Admetus, when he is presented with the opportunity to have someone die in his place.
Alcestis compresses within itself both tragedy and its apparent reversal, staging in the process fascinating questions about gender roles, family loyalties, the nature of heroism, and the role of commemoration. Alcestis is Euripides's earliest complete work and his only surviving play from the period preceding the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. Currently dominant post-structuralist models of Greek tragedy focus on its 'oppositional' role in the discourse of war and public values.
This study challenges not only this politicised model of tragic discourse but also both traditional masculinist and more recent feminist readings of the discourse and performance of gender in this remarkable play. The play survived in the performance repertoire of antiquity into the Roman period.
Euripides' version strongly influenced the reception of the myth through the middles ages into the Renaissance, and the story enjoyed a lively afterlife through opera. Alcestis ' contested reception in the last two centuries charts our changing understanding of tragedy.
Niall Slater's study explores the reception and afterlife of the play, as well as its main themes, the myth before the play, the play's historical and social context and the central developments in modern criticism. His strong scholarly background and genuine understanding of theatrical texts and performances allow him to weigh various readings of the script in a broad historical and theatrical context; his discussion of the play's reception is especially strong.
This clearly organized and beautifully written commentary offers riches to readers at all levels.