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Satre's Adaptation of Euripides' The Trojan Women
Satre's Adaptation of Euripides' The Trojan Women Author:Jean Paul Satre, Ronald Duncan (for English Version) Satre was moved to write an adaptation of Euripides' great tragedy when he saw it produced during the Algerian War. "I admit," he states in the Introduction, "it was the subject of this play which first interested me. That is not surprising. The play had a precise political significance when it was first produced. It was an explicit condemnation... more » of war in general, and of imperial expeditions in particular. We know today that war would trigger off and atomic war in which there would be neither victor nor vanquished. The play demonstrates this fact precisely: that war is a defeat to humanity....It is sufficient to leave the final statement to Poseidon: Can't you see war will kill you, all of you?"
But to make the play more meaningful today, Sartre recognized the need to bridge the gap that separates a modern audience from the drama both by its style and by the frequent allusions that only an Athenian public would have readily understood. His problem was to create a style not too alien to our ears without permitting the play to lose its own liturgical character-hence his use of verse-and to remove references that would be meaningless to us, at the same time underscoring significant aspects. This adaptation, so pertinent to our world today, was first performed in Paris in 1965.
In translating Sartre's Euripides, Ronald Duncan also took liberties to make the play dramatically effective in English. His version was successfully produced at the Edinburgh Festival in 1966.« less