- Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Format: Paperback | 386 pages
- Language: English / Greek, Ancient (to 1453)
- Dimensions: 136mm x 212mm x 30mm | 540g
- Publication date: 31 March 2008
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge
- ISBN 10: 0521545412
- ISBN 13: 9780521545419
- Edition: 1
- Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
- Sales rank: 481,582
This up-to-date edition offers a detailed literary and cultural analysis of Euripides' Helen, a work which arguably embodies the variety and dynamism of fifth-century Athenian tragedy more than any other surviving play. The story of an exemplary wife (not an adulteress) who went to Egypt (not to Troy), Euripides' 'new Helen' skilfully transforms and supplants earlier currents of literature and myth. The Introduction elucidates Euripides' treatment of Helen and sets the play in its wider intellectual context. It also discusses questions of genre and reception, rejecting such descriptions as 'tragicomedy' or 'romantic tragedy', and showing how later artists have responded to Euripides' unorthodox heroine and her phantom double. The Commentary's notes on language and style are intended to make Helen fully accessible to readers of Greek at all levels, while the edition as a whole is designed for use by anyone with an interest in Greek tragedy.
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William Allan is McConnell Laing Fellow and Tutor in Classical Languages and Literature at University College, Oxford.
"Allan's commentary is a valuable and needed contribution to the study and dissemination of Euripides' Helen. It is rich in contextual information, straightforward in its analysis and contentions, and judicious in its treatment of the text. Additionally, it does a significant portion of the necessary work of bringing the last four decades of scholarship to bear upon our reading of the play. For all these reasons, Allan's new commentary will go a long way towards achieving his stated goal of demonstrating that 'Helen is an extraordinary exuberant and inventive drama that deserves to be read (and performed) more widely.'" --BMCR
Table of contents
Introduction; 1. Euripides and Athens; 2. The figure of Helen in early Greek culture; 3. Helen on stage; 4. The 'New Helen'; 5. The production; 6. A tragedy of ideas; 7. Genre; 8. Helen transformed; 9. The text and its transmission; Helen; Commentary.