In this often neglected play, Euripides explores the contrast between myth and reality by portraying the story of Heracles' murder of his wife and children. In treating this act the dramatist explores the boundaries of madness and Heracles’ painful emergence from this state to a bitter realisation of what he has done. A further contrast is drawn between the callous gods who cause the madness and the caring and loving support of human friends and remaining family (Theseus and Amphitryon). This edition attempts to bring out the human and psychological qualities in the play and to defend its structure and dramatic power, arguing that it is neither “a grotesque abortion” (Swinburne) nor “broken-backed” (Murray) but a coherent and exciting work. Greek text with facing-page English translation, introduction and commentary.
Parallel-text edition of Euripides’ play Heracles. Greek text, with facing translation, introduction and commentary.
Shirley A. Barlow was Lecturer in the Department of Classical Studies, University of Kent at Canterbury. Her publications include editions of Euripides' plays Heracles and Trojan Women for the Aris & Phillips Classical Texts series, and The Imagery of Euripides (Bristol Classical Press, 2008).