Euripides and the Spirit of His Dramas

Euripides and the Spirit of His Dramas

Read FREE!

Euripides and the Spirit of His Dramas

Euripides and the Spirit of His Dramas

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Göthe once remarked with temper to Eckermann that a poet whom Socrates called his friend, whom Aristotle esteemed, whom Menander admired, and for whom Sophocles and the city of Athens put on mourning when they learnt of his death, "must certainly have been somebody." He was indignantly protesting against the belittling estimate of Euripides which Schlegel had expressed in his series of brilliant lectures on Dramatic Literature delivered in Vienna in 1808.

Euripides may well rest content with the favorable judgment of his peers, despite the jibes of a hostile Greek rival who vehemently refused him recognition even in Hades. That was Aristophanes's inimical attitude towards him; but Dante thought him worthy of companionship with Homer, albeit--

"Nel primo cinghio del carcere cieco."

It is a significant fact that the poets, with the notable exception of the great comedian, have thought well of Euripides. Many of them have paid him the high tribute of imitation. No other Greek poet, except Homer, has made so deep and lasting an impression on ancient and modern literature.

Even his comic rival, in one of those rare moments when he reveals the true Aristophanes, softly confesses that he imitated his style of speech. The tribute of imitation is continuous. In Euripides's own lifetime the youths of Athens set diligently to work writing tragedy in his manner, "a shoal of little songsters, tragedians by the myriad." The Greek tragic poets of the succeeding centuries patterned their plays upon his. The poets of the New Comedy made him and not Aristophanes their model; Menander repeatedly acknowledges his obligations to him. Euripides thus indirectly influenced Roman Comedy. Early Roman . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.