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About the book
  • Published: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407013992
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 112

Medea




A bold new translation of this shockingly modern classic work by Forward Prize-winning poet, Robin Robertson

Medea has been betrayed. Her husband Jason has left her for a younger woman. He has forgotten all the promises he made and is even prepared to abandon their two sons. But Medea is not a woman to accept such disrespect passively. Strong-willed and fiercely intelligent, she turns her formidable energies to working out the greatest, and most horrifying, revenge possible...

  • Pub date: 1 September 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407013992
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 112

About the Author

Euripides Euripides

Euripides is thought to have lived between 485 and 406 BC. He is considered to be one of the three great dramatists of Ancient Greece, alongside Aeschylus and Sophocles. He is particularly admired by modern audiences and readers for his characterization and astute and balanced depiction of human behaviour. Medea is his most famous work.

Date: 2013-08-06
Euripides is thought to have lived between 485 and 406 BC. He is considered to be one of the three great dramatists of Ancient Greece, alongside Aeschylus and Sophocles. He is particularly admired by modern audiences and readers for his characterization and astute and balanced depiction of human behaviour. Medea is his most famous work.

Robin Robertson is from the north-east coast of Scotland. He is the author of three collections of poetry: A Painted Field (1997), winner of the 1997 Forward Poetry Prize (Best First Collection), the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Prize and the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award; Slow Air (2002); and Swithering (2006). He is also the editor of Mortification: Writers' Stories of their Public Shame (2003). In 2004, he was named by the Poetry Book Society as one of the 'Next Generation' poets, and received the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Robin Robertson's third poetry collection, Swithering (2006), was shortlisted for the 2005 T. S. Eliot Prize and won the 2006 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year). In 2013 Robin Robertson was awarded the Petrarca-Preis. He lives and works in London.

Euripides, the youngest of the three great Athenian playwrights, was born around 485 BC of a family of good standing. He first competed in the dramatic festivals in 455 BC, coming only third; his record of success in the tragic competitions is lower than that of either Aeschylus or Sophocles. There is a tradition that he was unpopular, even a recluse; we are told that he composed poetry in a cave by the sea, near Salamis. What is clear from contemporary evidence, however, is that audiences were fascinated by his innovative and often disturbing dramas. His work was controversial already in his lifetime, and he himself was regarded as a 'clever' poet, associated with philosophers and other intellectuals.

Towards the end of his life he went to live at the court of Archelaus, king of Macedon. It was during his time there that he wrote what many consider his greates work, the Bacchae. When news of his death reached Athens in early 406 BC, Sophocles appeared publicly in mourning for him. Euripides is thought to have written about ninety-two plays, of which seventeen tragedies and one satyr-play known to be his survive; the other play which is attributed to him, the Rhesus, may in fact be by a later hand.

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Praise for Medea

“The purpose of translation is to set a play free. This is just what Robin Robertson does. In his lucid, free-running verse, Medea's power is released into the world, fresh and appalling, in words that seem spoken for the first time.”

Anne Enright

“The greatest works demand constant re-translation to meet the changing culture of the age, and Robin Robertson has given us a Medea fit for our times; his elegant and lucid free translation of Euripides' masterpiece manages the trick of sounding wholly contemporary but never merely 'modern' - and will be an especially lucky discovery for those encountering the play for the first time.”

Don Paterson

“Robertson is master of the dark and wounded, the torn complexities of human relations, and Medea offers a perfect match for his sensibilities. This is an urgent, contemporary and eloquent translation”

A.L. Kennedy

“This version of Medea is vivid, strong, readable, and brings triumphantly into modern focus the tragic sensibility of the ancient Greeks”

John Banville

“His version of Medea feels newly minted thanks to the pitch perfection of his linguistic choices. Robertson's skill lies in bringing the words of a long dead Greek to life, not merely to live but to cavort in the mind's ear”

Scotland on Sunday

“Robin Robertson is a fine poet and one well-matched to the task of making an English version of Euripides's great play. The tough but musical vernacular line he has found brings home the brutality and ineffable sadness of Medea in a way that seems perfectly-pitched for a modern audience”

David Harsent

“Robertson's achievement is to make the dialogue flow without losing the unsettling poetry of the original”

Financial Times

“It's 2,400 years old, yet it is so compelling and absolutely modern”

Deborah Warner


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