Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Short Essay about Euripides

Euripides is a Greek philosopher, the youngest in the triad of the famous ancient Greek playwrights after Aeschylus and Sophocles.

His birthplace was Salamis, where he was born approximately in 480 BC, some ancient sources indicated the exact date of his birth, 23 September 480 BC, but it is likely just a desire to this date greater significance as it was the day when the famous naval battle took place in which the Greeks defeated the Persians. Another source tells us that Euripides was born in 486 BC, and 481. It is also known that his parents were wealthy, but not of noble origin, however, this thesis was also challenged by the number of researchers, as there is evidence of his education, as well as on his participation in some celebrations, where the road has been closed to commoners.

The childhood dream of Euripides were Olympic Games (he was known as a capable gymnast), but he could not participate due to too young age. Soon he was studying literature, philosophy, public speaking, and his writings clearly indicate that he has succeeded in his lessons. His world view was shaped largely under the influence of the teachings of Anaxagoras, Protagoras, Prodika. Euripides was collecting books for his personal library, and once reached a point where he decided to write one himself.

Euripides began to write at the age of 18, but the first contest in the drama, in which he dared to participate with the play "Peliad", refers to the 455 BC, and in 440 BC, he was awarded top honors for the first time. Writing has always been very important to him, so he kept away from the socio-political life of the country and the city, but was not completely indifferent to it. Another known fact of his biography was a special relationship to women: an unhappy experience of two marriages made by Euripides misogynist in the eyes of others.

It is known that Euripides wrote until his death; ancient historians attributed to him, according to different sources, from 75 to 92 plays, from which we still have 17 complete dramas, including "Elektra", "Medea", "Iphigenia in Tauris", etc. In his writings, Euripides transformed antique tragedy; he paid lot more attention to domestic, private life of his heroes, their emotional suffering. In his works, you can see the reflection of the philosophical thoughts of the time. His innovation, the dignity of his manners were not evaluated properly by his contemporaries. Of all his numerous plays at the theatre, only four won the competition. This is referred to as the main reason that, in 408 BC, the playwright accepted the invitation of Achelous, King of Macedon, and left Athens for good. This ruler was extremely respectful for his famous guest and provided him with great honors.

Euripides died in 406 BC, and the circumstances of his death are not exactly clear. Modern scholars tend to assume that the tragedian, who was already over seventy, was killed a harsh Macedonian winter, where he was buried, although Athenians approached Achelous to issue the body of fellow countryman for burial. When faced the rejection, they expressed their respects by placing a statue of a playwright in the walls of the theater.

It was after his death that Euripides’ works became the most popular. He was considered the most popular and famous ancient playwright to V century BC Writings of the great triad and had a major influence on Roman tragedy, later European literature, particularly the works of Voltaire, Goethe, and other famous masters of the pen.