Euripides' tragedies proved highly controversial even in his own lifetime, presenting his audience with unexpected twists of plot and violently extreme emotions; for many of today's readers and spectators, he seems almost uncannily modern in his insights. Euripides was the key figure in transforming the familiar figures of Greek mythology from awe-inspiring but remote heroes into recognizable, fallible human beings. His characters, all superbly eloquent, draw on fierce contemporary debates about the nature of justice, politics and religion. His women are perhaps the most sympathetically and powerfully presented in ancient literature. Alcestis, the dramatist's first surviving work, is less harrowing than the others, almost a tragicomedy. The Children of Heracles examines the conflict between might and right, while Hippolytus and Medea, two of his greatest plays, reveal his profound understanding of destructive passion. This new translation into dignified English prose makes one of the greatest of Greek writers accessible once again to a wide public.