Medea Criticism

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When Euripides's Medea, along with three other tragedies and a satyr play (a tetralogy}, were presented at the annual March festival of Dionysus, Euripides did not win the coveted prize; in fact, his tetralogy came in last of the three tetralogies performed that day. This initial reaction, however, has not affected Medea's reputation over the centuries. Euripides's contemporaries did not consider him a master tragedian, and he won only four prizes during his lifetime, although his elder, Sophocles, regarded him as a master playwright and ordered that the participants in the next Dionysian festival after Euripides's death dress in mourning out of respect for him.

A tendency to revive fifth-century plays during the fourth century led to a revised judgment of Euripides. His reputation grew significantly during this period, so much so that Aristophanes (448-380 B.C.) dedicated three plays to ridiculing his style. This is not to suggest that...

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This section contains 713 words
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Buy the Medea Study Guide
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Medea from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.