The Iphigenia Plays: New Verse Translations (Northwestern World Classics) (Paperback)
At the heart of Iphigenia’s enduring story are an ambitious, opportunistic, and indecisive leader and the daughter whose life he is willing to sacrifice. In The Iphigenia Plays, poet Rachel Hadas offers a new generation of readers a graceful, clear, and powerful translation of Euripides’s two spellbinding (and very different) plays drawn from this legend: Iphigenia in Aulis and Iphigenia among the Taurians.
Even for readers unfamiliar with Greek mythology or drama, these plays are suspenseful, poignant, and haunting. Euripides’s ability to evoke emotion and raise difficult questions has long engaged viewers and readers alike. Taken together, the two plays illuminate timeless human conflicts, showcasing individuals and families ensnared by the fury of war, of politics, of religion, and of ambition. Euripidean characters are always second-guessing themselves; now new readers can also ponder their dilemmas.
Poet and translator Rachel Hadas highlights the lyricism, emotion, and sheer humanity of Euripides’s plays. Mordant humor is here; so are heartbreak and tenderness. Hadas offers an Iphigenia story that resonates with our own troubled times and demonstrates anew the genius of one of the world’s supreme dramatists.
About the Author
RACHEL HADAS, a professor of English at Rutgers University–Newark, is the author of many books of poetry, essays, and translations, including Questions in the Vestibule (Northwestern, 2016) and Strange Relation: A Memoir of Marriage, Dementia, and Poetry. She is the editor (with Peter Constantine, Edmund Keeley, and Karen Van Dyck) of the anthology The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present.
“These renderings illuminate again a character woven intensely in the fabric of the classical world. They also resound present concerns and cares, alongside the acuities of a translator who is also a poet. Hadas produces here some sublime passages, driven by an unfailing sense of rhythm and deep understanding of Euripides’ moral nightmares.” —Paschalis Nikolaou, author of The Return of Pytheas: Scenes from British and Greek Poetry in Dialogue
"I liked reading these plays but I don’t like summarizing because the beauty’s in the reading. Anytime a seasoned poet’s at work, you can be sure the language is worthy of the story. Hadas spent three years translating these. They deserve more than short mention: They deserve to be read in full." —Grace Cavalieri, The Washington Independent Review of Books