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Iphigenia in Tauris (Murray Translation)

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By: (484 BC - 406 BC)

"Iphigenia in Tauris" by Euripides is a captivating Greek tragedy that explores themes of family, sacrifice, and redemption. The story follows Iphigenia, a priestess of Artemis who has been tasked with sacrificing strangers who wash up on the shores of Tauris. However, when her long-lost brother, Orestes, and his friend Pylades arrive, Iphigenia faces a moral dilemma that challenges her loyalty to her family and her duty to the gods.

Euripides' writing is both poetic and powerful, drawing the reader into the emotional turmoil of the characters as they grapple with their fates. The dialogue is sharp and thought-provoking, exploring complex ethical questions and dilemmas. Despite the tragic nature of the story, there are moments of lightness and hope that add depth to the narrative.

Overall, "Iphigenia in Tauris" is a classic work of Greek drama that continues to resonate with audiences today. Euripides' exploration of duty, loyalty, and forgiveness makes this play a timeless and profound reflection on the human experience.

Book Description:
The apparent sacrifice of Iphigenia at Aulis by her own father Agamemnon was forestalled by the godness Artemis, who by an adroit sleight of hand that fooled all participants, substituted a deer for the daughter. Wafted magically away to the “Friendless Shores” of savage Tauris and installed as chief priestess presiding over the human sacrifice of all luckless foreigners, Iphigenia broods over her “murder” by her parents and longs for some Greeks to be shipwrecked on her shores so she can wreak a vicarious vengeance on them. Little does she expect her own little brother Orestes to be one of those Greeks brought to her altar.

Possibly the most beautiful of the plays of Euripides, the Iphigenia in Tauris relates the final resolution of the dark tragedy of the House of Atreides. Filled with radiant imagery of sunlight and sea-foam and bird-flight (reproduced beautifully by the learned Oxford scholar Gilbert Murray), this is not a tragedy but a story with a happy ending, in which all the innocent are freed and equilibrium is restored. Despite the happy ending, this is no light romance; throughout the play the plangent tones of human sadness, homesickness, and exile remind the reader that happiness is the ephemeral thing, while sadness takes so many eternal forms. (Expatriate)

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