"The Alcestis would hardly confirm its author's right to be acclaimed 'the most tragic of the poets.' It is doubtful whether one can call it a tragedy at all. Yet it remains one of the most characteristic and delightful of Euripidean dramas, as well as, by modern standards, the most easily actable. And I notice that many judges who display nothing but a fierce satisfaction in sending other plays of that author to the block or the treadmill, show a certain human weakness in sentencing the gentle daughter of Pelias." So begins the introduction to the Alcestis by Euripides.