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Euripides's Biography

 
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Euripides was the youngest of the trio of great writers of Greek tragedy. The other two were Aeschylus and Sophocles.

A simplified comparison of the three Greek tragedians might suggest that Aeschylus explored man's relationship with 'the gods'; Sophocles - man's relationship with society; and Euripides explored man's relationship with himself.

Euripides was born around 484 BC and died the same year as Sophocles (406 BC). According to a note in Penguin Classics, Sophocles appeared publicly in mourning for Euripides when he died.

Euripides was less popular with his contemporary audience than the other two great tragedians; and in many ways he was ahead of his time. A testimony to his lack of popularity is the regular attacks heaped on him by Aristophanes. As well as being innovative in content, for example, exploring female psychology, Euripides also made important structural changes to the theatrical tradition at the time, notably decreasing the role of the chorus.



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