Outstepping the literal bounds of genre, Euripides' Helen has been referred to by scholars as both a tragedy and a comedy. In this sensitive new translation by James Michie and Colin Leach, Euripides' fragile structure of subtlety, in both timing and tone, is beautifully preserved. From the myth ascribed to the Sicilian poet Stesichorus, Helen plays on the question of two Helens: one a phantom in Troy, and the other the real Helen who remained in Egypt. A myriad of reversals, thought-provoking examples of differing orders of reality, and juxtapositions of opposites, allow Euripides to comment on the futility of war and the distinction between appearance and reality.
About the Translators
James Michie is translator of The Odes of Horace and The Centennial Hymn. Colin Leach is a Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford University.