biographical name \y-ˈri-pə-ˌdēz\

Definition of EURIPIDES

ca 484–406 b.c. Greek dram.
Eu·rip·i·de·an \-ˌri-pə-ˈdē-ən\ adjective


biographical name    (Concise Encyclopedia)

(born c. 484 BC, Athens—died 406 BC, Macedonia) Greek playwright. With Aeschylus and Sophocles, he is recognized as one of Athens's three great tragic dramatists. An associate of the philosopher Anaxagoras, he expressed his questions about Greek religion in his plays. Beginning in 455, he was repeatedly chosen to compete in the dramatic festival of Dionysus; he won his first victory in 441. He competed 22 times, writing four plays for each occasion. Of his 92 plays, about 19 survive, including Medea (431), Hippolytus (428), Electra (418), The Trojan Women (415), Ion (413), Iphigenia at Aulis (406), and The Bacchae (406). Many of his plays include prologues and rely on a deus ex machina. Unlike Aeschylus and Sophocles, Euripides made his characters' tragic fates stem almost entirely from their own flawed natures and uncontrolled passions. In his plays chance, disorder, and human irrationality and immorality frequently result in apparently meaningless suffering that is looked on with indifference by the gods.


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