Medea has been betrayed. Her husband Jason has left her for a younger woman. He has forgotten all the promises he made and is even prepared to abandon their two sons. But Medea is not a woman to accept such disrespect passively. Strong-willed and fiercely intelligent, she turns her formidable energies to working out the greatest, and most horrifying, revenge possible...
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The purpose of translation is to set a play free. This is just what Robin Robertson does. In his lucid, free-running verse, Medea's power is released into the world, fresh and appalling, in words that seem spoken for the first time. -
The greatest works demand constant re-translation to meet the changing culture of the age, and Robin Robertson has given us a Medea fit for our times; his elegant and lucid free translation of Euripides' masterpiece manages the trick of sounding wholly contemporary but never merely 'modern' - and will be an especially lucky discovery for those encountering the play for the first time. -
Robertson is master of the dark and wounded, the torn complexities of human relations, and Medea offers a perfect match for his sensibilities. This is an urgent, contemporary and eloquent translation -
This version of Medea is vivid, strong, readable, and brings triumphantly into modern focus the tragic sensibility of the ancient Greeks -
His version of Medea feels newly minted thanks to the pitch perfection of his linguistic choices. Robertson's skill lies in bringing the words of a long dead Greek to life, not merely to live but to cavort in the mind's ear - Scotland on Sunday
Robin Robertson is a fine poet and one well-matched to the task of making an English version of Euripides's great play. The tough but musical vernacular line he has found brings home the brutality and ineffable sadness of Medea in a way that seems perfectly-pitched for a modern audience -
Robertson's achievement is to make the dialogue flow without losing the unsettling poetry of the original - Financial Times
It's 2,400 years old, yet it is so compelling and absolutely modern -
One of the main virtues of this fine translation is Robertson's ear for the verbal brutality committed by the estranged Medea and Jason on one another during their confrontations. Another is Robertson's sensitivity to the seascapes and imagery of Euripides that dominate the play... Closer examination reveals how much thought has gone into its making...These subtleties support Robertson's claim, in the introduction, that his main concern was 'to provide an English version that is as true to the Greek as it is to the way that English is spoken now...' It certainly deserves to be staged. It would provide a more attractive basis for a performance text of the original play than anything else currently on offer - Times Literary Supplement
In Robertson's translation poetry abandons its usual mellifluousness for pithy simplicity...The combustion of language and sound is enough to release the beauty in the text - The Times
[Robertson's] version of Medea feels newly minted thanks to the pitch perfection of his linguistic choices. Robertson's skill lies in bringing the words of a long dead Greek to life, not merely to live but to cavort in the mind's ear - Scotland on Sunday
Euripides is thought to have lived between 485 and 406 BC. He is considered to be one of the three great dramatists of Ancient Greece, alongside Aeschylus and Sophocles. He is particularly admired by modern audiences and readers for his characterization and astute and balanced depiction of human behaviour. Medea is his most famous work.
Robin Robertson is from the north-east coast of Scotland. He is the author of three collections of poetry: A Painted Field (1997), winner of the 1997 Forward Poetry Prize (Best First Collection), the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Prize and the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award; Slow Air (2002); and Swithering (2006). He is also the editor of Mortification: Writers' Stories of their Public Shame (2003). In 2004, he was named by the Poetry Book Society as one of the 'Next Generation' poets, and received the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Robin Robertson's third poetry collection, Swithering (2006), was shortlisted for the 2005 T. S. Eliot Prize and won the 2006 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year). In 2013 Robin Robertson was awarded the Petrarca-Preis. He lives and works in London.