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Guide to the classics: Euripides’ Medea and her terrible revenge against the patriarchy

The Athenian poet Euripides was the last of the three great Greek tragedians (after Aeschylus and Sophocles) and also the least successful.

  • Paul Salmond
  • The Conversation

Greek tragedies were performed competitively at religious festivals in Athens in honour of the god Dionysus. While 18 of his 90-odd plays have survived, Euripides claimed only four festival victories.

One prize was awarded posthumously, indicating that at the Dionysia, as with the Oscars, death could be a handy avenue to success.

It’s not difficult to see how Euripides estranged the festival judges. Unlike the intricate plotting of Sophocles, exemplified by the…

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