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.
- Liverpool University Press