1st Edition

Euripides' Medea Translation and Theatrical Commentary

By Michael Ewans Copyright 2022
    98 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    98 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers a new, accurate and actable translation of one of Euripides’ most popular plays, together with a commentary which provides insight into the challenges it sets for production and suggestions for how to solve them.

    The introduction discusses the social and cultural context of the play and its likely impact on the original audience, the way in which it was originally performed, the challenges which the lead roles present today and Medea’s implications for the modern audience. The text of the translation is followed by the 'Theatrical Commentary' section on the issues involved in staging each scene and chorus today, embodying insights gained from a professional production. Notes on the translation, a glossary of names, suggestions for further reading and a chronology of Euripides’ life and times round out the volume.

    The book is intended for use by theatre practitioners who wish to stage or workshop Medea and by students both of drama, theatre and performance and of classical studies.

    List of figures




    1. Medea and Greek values
    2. Medea
    3. Jason
    4. Translation
    5. The original conditions of the performance
    6. Medea today


    • The backstory
    • Characters
    • Translation
    • The Aftermath

    Translation Notes

    Theatrical Commentary

    Cast and Production Team

    Glossary of Names




    Michael Ewans is Conjoint Professor of Drama in the School of Humanities, Creative Industries and Social Science at the University of Newcastle, Australia. His 11 books include two volumes each of translations of plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aristophanes, all with theatrical commentaries.

    'Michael Ewans has produced ... an elegant, thoughtful, careful, and moving text of Euripides' Medea ... [and] a splendid analysis of the play that will make it much, much easier for those who wish to create a production of this important and challenging play ... Ewans discusses the various challenges and how these challenges can be dealt with by contemporary practitioners ... Ewans' excellent work deserves to be read, considered, and brought to life in theaters everywhere.' - Mary-Kay Gamel, University of California Santa Cruz, USA

    "In embarking on the challenging task of creating another translation of Euripides’ Medea, E. followed two main principles: (1) to remain as faithful as possible to the original text and (2) to create a version that is actable, making it both appealing and accessible to a modern audience. E. succeeds in this, producing a translation that is clear, concise and to the point. On the one hand he maintains the brevity of the Greek, its occasional ambiguity and often even the grammatical construction... On the other hand, E. does not shy away from interpreting, to elucidate the meaning of particular passages... I would highly recommend this book both for students on Classics and theatre courses and for use in production. Preferences for Medea translations will vary, but E.'s emphasis on actability and clarity ensures his work a special place among the options. " - Classical Review