c.480 - 406 BC
Euripides was the youngest of Athens' three greatest
tragic poets. He altered the content of the epics by lessening
the heroic image and he became a percursor of bourgeois drama.
Euripides was the most revolutionary of
the Greek tragedians.
The early poets still shared the traditional beliefs with the majority of their audiences, but a younger man, like Euripides, who was influenced by the free-thinking spirit of his time, no longer believed in the power of a god like Dionysus, whose festival he, as a tragic poet, was required to celebrate.
Euripides solved his dilemna by
presenting his plot in a way that implicitly contradicted
the many answers his divine messengers provided for the
difficulties of life.
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