Euripides Facts

Euripides Facts
Euripides was a Greek tragedy playwright and poet and best known as one of only three playwrights of the time in ancient Greece whose work has survived. The other two were Sophocles and Aeschylus. Euripides was born in approximately 480 BC on Salamis Island to Mnesarchus, his father, a retailer, and Cleito, his mother. Euripides was prophesized by an oracle that he would win athletic championships, and his father insisted her train in athletics. His education also included philosophy and painting. Euripides married twice and had three sons with one of his wives. Both marriages ended and Euripides chose to live like a recluse in a cave where he built a home for himself and wrote. At the end of his life he lived in the 'rustic court' in Macedonia.
Interesting Euripides Facts:
Of the three tragic dramatists of ancient Greece including Euripides, Sophocles, and Aeschylus, Euripides was the last and is considered by many to be the most influential.
During his lifetime Euripides wrote approximately 90 plays but only 19 manuscripts survived.
During Euripides lifetime major playwrights competed in a dramatic festival in Athens held to honor the god Dionysus. His first entry was in the festival in 455, but he didn't win his first competition until 441. In total he won four of these competitions.
Euripides most well-known tragedies include Alcestis, Hippolytus, Medea, and The Bacchae.
Euripides plays often included complex, strong female characters who were avengers despite being victimized in some way.
Euripides enjoyed writing about the darker side of people including plots with insanity, revenge, and suffering.
Euripides' plays were preserved over the years because of his high Greek literature status. They have been recopied many times over the centuries to preserve them.
At the time when Euripides lived and wrote his many works, plays did not have the formatting they have today. They were written much like prose without stage directions, no notation of change of speaker, or even punctuation consistency.
Because of ancient records, the chronological date of Euripides plays can be approximated.
Euripides' tragic plays include Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytus, Andromache, Hecuba, Heracles, The Trojan Women, Phoenician Women, Orestes, Bacchae, Iphigenia at Aulis, and Rhesus.
Euripides' political/patriotic plays include Heracleidae, and The Suppliants.
Euripides' romantic plays include Iphigenia in Taurus, Ion, and Helen.
Euripides also wrote a satyr play Cyclops, and another play Electra.
In festival competitions of the time, several of Euripides' plays placed high. Hippolytus, Bacchae, and Iphigenia at Aulis won first place. The Trojan Women, and Alcestis placed second. Madea placed third.
Many of Euripides plays have either been lost or are only available in fragmented form including Peliades, Telephus, Cretan Women, Dictys, Wise Melanippe, Sisyphus, Antiope, and many more.
Many of Euripides plays have been translated, and adapted and are still being produced around the world in theaters today.
Poets Elizabeth Barret Browning and Robert Browning admired Euripides and wrote about him during their own careers.
Toward the end of Euripides' life he was invited to live in Macedonia by the king of Macedonia Archelaus. Euripides died there in 406 BC.

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