Next up is yet another volume of Euripides. This volume's plays are:Hippolytos, Children of Herakles, Suppliant Women,and Ion.
Hippolytos is one of the more fucked up things I've ever read.Basically, Aphrodite gets annoyed that Hippolytos is a merry virgin and favoredby Artemis, the virgin huntress. So she decides to make his stepmother fallmadly in love with him. Despite Aphrodite's trickery, the stepmother knows thatthis is all a really bad idea. But a nurse tells Hippolytos what is going on.And he flies into a rage, saying horrible things about women along the way. Forexample, "Damn you! I hate women. I'll never stop loathing them. Some say I'minsatiably hostile--but women are insatiably lewd. Either convert them tochaste decency--or allow me to stomp on them till I'm dead." The stepmotherhangs herself. And a suicide note that she may or may not have actually writtenclaims that Hippolytos raped her. His dad comes home and exiles him. There's achariot crash. He's near death. Then Artemis shows up to set the recordstraight. But she can't help Hippolytos because Zeus has forbidden it,apparently. But she did pledge to go riddle one of Aphrodite's favorites fullof arrows. I'm really just scratching the surface here. Read it yourself andprepare to be dumbfounded.
Sons of Herakles is pretty straightforward. Some big meany hastaken over Herakles' kingdom and exiled his sons. They are in the protection ofHerakles' nephew, Iolaos. They convince the Athenians to help them out. There'sa battle. The Athenians win. Everyone lives happily ever after. Not verytragic. But Aristotle hadn't invented the definition of tragedy yet so that'sokay.
Suppliant Women is basically the same story as Sons ofHerakles but the sons are replaced by the mothers of the commanders whoattacked Thebes in Seven Against Thebes. Creon wont release theirbodies to be buried. The Athenians come to the rescue again and everyone liveshappily ever after. These plays probably made their Athenian audience reallyfeel good about themselves.
Finally, there's Ion. Ion is a priest of Apollo who doesn't knowwho his parents are. But he ends up reunited with his mother and some guy istricked into thinking that he's the father despite the fact that Apollo isactually Ion's father. And none of this comes as any surprise whatsoeverbecause Hermes explains everything in the first two pages. I'd stronglyrecommend giving this one a miss.
Just two more volumes of tragedy to go, awooh!