Euripides: Medea

This up-to-date edition makes Euripides’ most famous and influential play accessible to students of Greek reading their first tragedy as well as to more advanced students. The introduction analyzes Medea as a revenge-plot, evaluates the strands of motivation that lead to her tragic insistence on killing her own children, and assesses the potential sympathy of a Greek audience for a character triply marked as other (barbarian, witch, woman). A unique feature of this book is the introduction to tragic language and style. The text, revised for this edition, is accompanied by an abbreviated critical apparatus. The commentary provides morphological and syntactic help for inexperienced students and more advanced observations on vocabulary, rhetoric, dramatic techniques, stage action, and details of interpretation, from the famous debate of Medea and Jason to the ‘unmotivated’ entrance of Aegeus and the controversial monologue of Medea.

• Provides expert guidance for students of ancient Greek in translating and understanding the most famous play of Euripides • Introduces problems of interpretation and cultural significance of the play, with ample reference to contemporary bibliography in English • Introduces important aspects of Greek tragedy, including special sections presenting the language and style of tragedy and basic concepts of prosody and metre


General introduction; Structural elements of Greek tragedy; Language and style; Prosody and metre; MEDEA; Commentary; Appendix: Medea’s great monologue.


‘… predictably fine, thoughtful and polished … a nicely self-contained teaching-tool … Throughout, Mastronarde displays virtues known from his previous activity as a commentator: clarity of exposition; fairness in the treatment of controversial issues; philological acumen; command of the primary and secondary literature … a keen eye for the theatrical dimension of drama; and an openness to engage with broader, and often complex, non-philological aspects of interpretation.‘

– Mouseion, Journal of the Classical Association of Canada

‘We may confidently say now that future students will face a less difficult task thanks to the work of D. J. Mastronarde, whose knowledge of Greek theatre and uncommon talent as a teacher have combined to produce a most valuable book. It is easy to foresee that students will be grateful to M. for his admirably concise and useful treatment of language, style and metre … Mastronarde‘s book is an outstanding contribution to the understanding of Medea and a valuable introduction to Greek tragedy as a whole. It deserves to take pride of place on the shelves of Euripidean scholars beside the time-honoured commentary of Page.‘

– Journal of Hellenic Studies