Euripides, c.480-406 B.C.
Of the nearly 80 dramas he wrote after he abandoned painting for literature, we have only 18 complete tragedies of Euripides. He won the tragic prize only five times and died at the court of Archelaus, king of Macedonia. He did not take much take part in public life. In politics, he was a moderate who approved of democracy but not demagogues. The probable order of his plays is Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytus, Hecuba, Andromache, Supplices, Heraclidae, Troades, Helena, Phoenissae, and Orestes. The Bacchae and Iphigenia in Aulis were put on the Athenian stage only after the death of Euripides. It is uncertain to what period belonged his Ion, Hercules Furens, Iphigenia in Tauris, Electra, and Cyclops.
Euripides' skill as a playwright is of the highest order -- he could construct exciting plots and had an unerring instinct for the "situation." His popularity increased after his death and his plays were "revived" more frequently than those of either Aeschylus or Sophocles.
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