Alcestis, by Euripides - click to see full size image

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Alcestis is a tragedy play written by the ancient Greek playwright Euripides. It was first produced in 438 BC in the City Dionysia festival - a large festival in ancient Athens in honor of the god Dionysus, the central events of which were the theatrical performances of dramatic tragedies and comedies. Euripides won second prize in the competition of tragedies.

Events prior to the play include King Admetus being granted the privilege of living past his allotted time of death if he can find someone to take his place when Death comes to claim him. The Fates granted him this after being persuaded to do so by Apollo (who got them drunk). When his time comes and he still hasn't found anyone, his wife Alcestis steps in as she doesn't want her children to be left without a father. When Thanatos (Death) arrives, Apollo proposes that the death of Alcestis be postponed but Thanatos declines. Apollo leaves, prophesysing that Heracles will come and battle Death and save Alcestis.

Part of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World set.

This book has 14,345 words, and 26 pages in the PDF version. This translation by Gilbert Murray was first published in 1915.

Production notes: This ebook of Alcestis was published by Global Grey on the 12th July 2018, and updated on the 6th December 2022. The artwork used for the cover is 'Hercules Wrestling with Death for the Body of Alcestis' by Frederic Lord Leighton.

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