Who is Euripides (Evripides)?June 25, 2021
Euripides (EvripiEuripides (Greek: Ευριπίδης) 480 BC – 406 BC) is the third great tragedy poet brought up by Athens after Aeschylus and Sophocles.
The thinker, the greatest of Athenian playwrights, forced people to think by posing the real and difficult problems that awaited them. He was accused of sacrilege and misogyny. But still, his thoughts, told with superior poetry, were listened to. These stonings and curses did not cease until he left his homeland, Athens. But after his death, he became the most famous and the most sought after of all the tragedian writers, and he has been among the immortal writers since that age.
Euripides, BC. He was born in Salamis in 480. At that time, ruthless wars were taking place between the Greeks and the Persian Empire. Although many bad ascriptions have been made to Euripides’ parents, in reality his father was of a wealthy lineage, inheriting a mission related to the temple of Apollo. According to sources, his mother was also the daughter of a noble family. Evripides studied painting in his youth and although he intended to pursue his art, he left painting at the age of twenty-five to write tragedy and poetry. His first play, “The Daughters of Pelias”, was staged in 455 BC, and the people of Athens realized at that moment that a new star was descending from the sky. He understood that this new poet brought with him a simple and powerful saying and new ideas, far removed from the pompous and pompous language of the theatre.
Euripides had an innovative and fearless side. He used new technical inventions while telling interesting events. His strongest point was his success in suspense scenes and creating a superior poetry in every scene. The sequence of events in the play, which tells the story of Telephus, who was wounded by Achilles’ spear in the Trojan War in 438 BC, and their application to the scene, reveals the power of Evripides. This play is also of great importance because of the blow it inflicts on ancient Greek stage traditions. It was the first time a beggar had appeared on stage wearing genuine rags. This came as a shock to the audience at the time. The realism in the staging of the play is one of the main reasons for attacking Aristophanes, Euripides’ most ruthless critic and the greatest comedy master of Greek theatre. In his comedy “Thesmosphoriazusae”, Aristophanes plots Greek women to avenge Euripides for making female characters look unattractive in his plays.
But the women of Euripides are never unlovable, even if they are infatuated with their passions. They only emphasize the fact that besides being idealized, they are human beings. Euripides also made it clear on the stage how the great gods of the past sometimes resorted to unholy tricks. This was a view that many perceived as an insult to the gods.
Euripides was a democrat, but he hated demagogues, great bureaucrats, and carefree leaders who brought war and disaster to their people. Depressing traces of the ongoing war with Sparta are seen in his plays “The Invocations” and “Women of Troy”. Although little can be said about the life of this famous tragedian, he lived on his land in Salamis and wrote his poems in a cave overlooking the sea. He was a dignified and sullen man who did not interfere with society as much as possible. This solitary life he chose away from people led to his being known as a person who hated gods, cut off his relations with society, and was mean, vicious and suspicious.
As an Athenian citizen, Euripides did not completely separate himself from social life. He served in the army, served as Magnesia consul and provided financial aid to the state. In 408 BC, he took refuge in the Macedonian king Archelaus, who left Athens, exposed to the attacks of comedy writers and the public, on the grounds that he disrespected the gods. He was very well received by the king and lived these eighteen months in peace and tranquility before he died. The cause of death is contradictory, according to some rumors, he was cut to pieces by hound dogs by jealous people in the palace. His play “Bacchae” was staged after his death and received an award.
Following Euripides’s own footsteps, three playwright sons staged their father’s plays after his death. Although it is known that Euripides has 80-90 tragedies, only 18 of them have survived.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook
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