Euripidés quotes

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Euripidés

Birthdate: 480 BC
Date of death: 406 BC

Euripides was a tragedian of classical Athens. Along with Aeschylus and Sophocles, he is one of the three ancient Greek tragedians for whom a significant number of plays have survived. Some ancient scholars attributed 95 plays to him but, according to the Suda, it was 92 at most. Of these, 18 or 19 have survived more or less complete and there are also fragments, some substantial, of most of the other plays. More of his plays have survived intact than those of Aeschylus and Sophocles together, partly because his popularity grew as theirs declined—he became, in the Hellenistic Age, a cornerstone of ancient literary education, along with Homer, Demosthenes, and Menander.Euripides is identified with theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times, especially in the representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. This new approach led him to pioneer developments that later writers adapted to comedy, some of which are characteristic of romance. Yet he also became "the most tragic of poets", focusing on the inner lives and motives of his characters in a way previously unknown. He was "the creator of...that cage which is the theatre of Shakespeare's Othello, Racine's Phèdre, of Ibsen and Strindberg," in which "...imprisoned men and women destroy each other by the intensity of their loves and hates", and yet he was also the literary ancestor of comic dramatists as diverse as Menander and George Bernard Shaw.Unique among writers of Ancient Athens, Euripides demonstrated sympathy towards the underrepresented members of society. His male contemporaries were frequently shocked by the heresies he put into the mouths of characters, such as these words of his heroine Medea:

His contemporaries associated him with Socrates as a leader of a decadent intellectualism, both of them being frequently lampooned by comic poets such as Aristophanes. Whereas Socrates was eventually put on trial and executed as a corrupting influence, Euripides chose a voluntary exile in old age, dying in Macedonia. Recent scholarship casts doubt on ancient biographies of Euripides. For example, it is possible that he never visited Macedonia at all, or, if he did, he might have been drawn there by King Archelaus with incentives that were also offered to other artists. Wikipedia

Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen (2006) / Public domain

Works

Medea
Euripidés
Alcestis
Euripidés
The Bacchae
Euripidés
Hippolytus
Euripidés
Helen
Euripidés
Ion
Euripidés
Orestes
Euripidés
Bellerophon
Euripidés
Cyclops
Euripidés
Andromeda
Euripidés
Electra
Euripidés
Antiope
Euripidés
The Suppliants
Euripidés
Alope
Euripidés
Antigone
Euripidés
Alcmene
Euripidés
Rhesus
Euripidés

„Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.“

—  Euripidés, The Bacchae

Bacchæ l. 480
Variant translation: To the fool, he who speaks wisdom will sound foolish.
Variant translation: He were a fool, methinks, who would utter wisdom to a fool. (translated by Edward Philip Coleridge)
Variant translation: Wise words being brought to blinded eyes will seem as things of nought. ( translated by Gilbert Murray http://www.gutenberg.org/files/8418/8418-h/8418-h.htm)
Source: The Bacchae

„Doth some one say that there be gods above?
There are not; no, there are not. Let no fool,
Led by the old false fable, thus deceive you.“

—  Euripidés, Bellerophon

Bellerophon
Context: Doth some one say that there be gods above?
There are not; no, there are not. Let no fool,
Led by the old false fable, thus deceive you.
Look at the facts themselves, yielding my words
No undue credence: for I say that kings
Kill, rob, break oaths, lay cities waste by fraud,
And doing thus are happier than those
Who live calm pious lives day after day. All divinity
Is built-up from our good and evil luck.

„When good men die their goodness does not perish,
But lives though they are gone.“

—  Euripidés

Temenidæ Frag. 734
Context: When good men die their goodness does not perish,
But lives though they are gone. As for the bad,
All that was theirs dies and is buried with them.

„Oh, if I had Orpheus' voice and poetry
with which to move the Dark Maid and her Lord,
I'd call you back, dear love, from the world below.“

—  Euripidés, Alcestis

Source: Alcestis (438 BC), l. 358
Context: Oh, if I had Orpheus' voice and poetry
with which to move the Dark Maid and her Lord,
I'd call you back, dear love, from the world below.
I'd go down there for you. Charon or the grim
King's dog could not prevent me then
from carrying you up into the fields of light.

„The fiercest anger of all, the most incurable,
Is that which rages in the place of dearest love.“

—  Euripidés

Source: Medea and Other Plays: Medea / Alcestis / The Children of Heracles / Hippolytus

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„This is slavery, not to speak one's thought.“

—  Euripidés, The Phoenician Women

Variant: Who dares not speak his free thoughts is a slave.
Source: The Phoenician Women (c.411-409 BC)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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