Euripides: The Tragedy-weaver of Greece: An overwhelming personality

He was a Greek Tragedian who was often compared with Aeschylus and Sophocles, the other two eminent dramatists of his age! Born in 480 BC( 22 September), the people of Athens celebrate his birthday but in a quite unconventional manner. With the passage of time, he matured and penned somewhat 95 plays. This view is of the scholars of the age. But according to Suda he wrote nearly 92 plays which are still a massive source of delight and inspiration for the modern playwrights. It is interesting to note that the brilliant son of Mnesarchus and Cleito became a prominent figure in the Hellenic age and his contribution to the ancient literary education was well acknowledged like that of Homer and Demosthenes! His popularity mounted but there was a declining phase of fame of Aeschylus and Sophocles.
Euripides’ contribution to the theatrical influence- traditional, mythical heroes is undeniable indeed! Later they were adapted into romantic comedy by a few dramatists. On the other hand scholars and critics have compared his plays and the manner of presentation with that of the bard of Avon- Shakespeare. “Character is destiny” for Shakespeare. But in Greek tragedies the characters are exalted and the introduction of ‘chorus’ heightens the tragic effect in the accepted sense of term! This theory is sharply proved in his creations namely ” Medea” and “Electra”.
Socrates was the symbol of decadent intellectualism and was tried and executed for his corrupting influence. Euripides was exiled too and he died in Macedonia. However, his plays have no connection with today’s life. The style and syntax of the modern plays are completely different from him. Still his presence cannot be ignored for one simple reason: “the base matters” for any colour of creation!!

– Kunal Roy.

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