Criticism of Euripides Technique

Euripides in general seems to have been clinging on to the standard conventions of tragedy suspended largely by the myths used as subject matter. None of his plays seem to have such ‘water tight construction’ as Sophocles ‘Oedipus the king’ and he made it quite apparent that although following the guidelines in the loosest possible manner this would allow him to explore his real interest and to delve into the human condition and aspects of psychology; how a particular character would be forced to react under different situations and how this would affect the psyce and to use these myths as a vehicle to illustrate this. He liked to focus on the realism of his characters; for example, Euripides’ Medea is a realistic woman with recognizable emotions and is not simply a villain. He gives her another side instead of just casting her of as a murderer or a monster.

However there are other ways in which Euripides follows the rules particularly in his use of the ‘god-from-the-machine’ the Deus ex machina whereby a previously problem is suddenly and abruptly solved under the reasoning that the god in question would be the only one to know all these elements of the story. It is generally considered to be a poor storytelling technique because it undermines the story's internal logic and appears in the same way as a ‘ and then I woke up and it was all a dream’ ending. Childlike in its simplicity.

However when compared to his two predecessors he was considered something of a radical. Constantly challenging political questions and often voicing the opinions and struggles never considered before on stage or even in life at that time for example insight into a slaves mind or the world according to a women scorned – Medea. This tackling of sensitive problems often left him with an unpopular reputation whilst those who stuck to the rules whilst still remaining to be innovative triumphed over him many times. This resentful bitterness towards society seemed to manifest itself in...