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Book Overview: 

Alcestis is the earliest surviving play by Euripides. Alcestis, the devoted wife of King Admetus, has agreed to die in his place, and at the beginning of the play she is close to death. In the first scene, Apollo argues with Thanatos (Death), asking to prolong Alcestis' life, but Thanatos refuses. Apollo leaves, but suggests that a man will come to Pherae who will save Alcestis. Euripides' play is perhaps the most unusual Greek drama ever written: a tragedy that is not a tragedy.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .To slay the doomed?—Nay; I will do my part.

No. To keep death for them that linger late.

THANATOS (still mocking).
'Twould please thee, so?… I owe thee homage great.

Ah, then she may yet … she may yet grow old?

THANATOS (with a laugh).
No!… I too have my rights, and them I hold.

'Tis but one life thou gainest either-wise.

When young souls die, the richer is my prize.

Old, with great riches they will bury her.

Fie on thee, fie! Thou rich-man's lawgiver!

How? Is there wit in Death, who seemed so blind?

The rich would buy long life for all their kind.

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Community Reviews

প্রাচীন গ্রীক নাট্যকার ইউরিপিদেস-এর নাটক 'আলসেস্টিস'। যদিও ট্র্যাজেডি নাটক হিসেবে স্বীকৃত, অনেকেই একে ট্র্যাজিকমেডি বলেও অভিহিত করেন। ট্র্যাজিক নাটকে সচরাচর যা হয়, আপাত চোখে একজন নায়ক-যিনি ভালোমানুষীর প্রায় সকল গুণ নিজের মাঝে ধারণ করেন-তিনিই হঠাৎ ছোটখাটো কোন দোষ/ ত্রুটির কারণে স্বর্গ থেকে নিক্ষিপ

“…com efeito, as almas nobres cumprem seu dever vencendo todas e quaisquer barreiras.
Os sentimentos bons são o apanágio dos homens dotados de sapiência.
Somos admiradores incontidos dos mortais realmente generosos e temos a mais firme convicção de que eles afinal serão felizes.”

Apolo conseguiu conven

Mmm... posso dire che mi aspettavo di meglio da una tragedia tanto famosa?
Speravo che lo spazio dedicato ad Alcesti fosse maggiore, ma in realtà ho trovato gli scambi tra personaggi piuttosto piatti, eccezion fatta per il dialogo di Admeto con il padre e la conclusione con Eracle.

Death and Resurrection in Ancient Greece
9 April 2012

I can now understand why they call this a problem play: for most of the play it is a tragedy but suddenly, at the end, everything turns out all right. One commentary I have read on this raises the question of whether it is a masterpiece or a train

In Alcestis, the god Apollo rewards Admetus, king of Pherae in Thessaly, for his hospitality by arranging that on the day of the king's death someone else perishes instead of him. Admetus's old parents (selfishly?) refuse to take his place—his wife Alcestis, however, agrees to die for him. After she

Last night, on our first evening of the Adelaide Fringe, we saw a fine production of Alcestis by the Scrambled Prince Theatre Company. It was most enjoyable, but I'm afraid that on returning home I immediately went and looked up an online translation. Could it really be the case that the dialogue be

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