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Herakles Gone Mad

Rethinking Heroism in an Age of Endless War

Published by Olive Branch Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

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About The Book

A decorated hero returns home after multiple tours of duty only to find the lives of his loved ones threatened. To make his home safe, he does battle one last time—one time too many. He slays his enemies but then, unable in his rage to tell friend from foe, murders his wife and children. He blacks out, and, when his wits return, his only thoughts are of death. Then a friend whose life he once saved in battle arrives, offering his hand and his heart. The long road home begins. Story of post-traumatic stress disorder of soldiers returning from Iraq? No—Euripides. No playwright, ancient or contemporary, has written with greater power and poignancy about war and its enduring wounds than has this Greek who lived 24 centuries ago and was himself a veteran. Euripides’ misunderstood masterpiece, Herakles Gone Mad, a play for dark times, reveals both the wreckage of war and the luminous power of love. In this volume, the distinguished author, translator, educator, and playwright Robert Emmet Meagher presents a new eminently actable translation of Euripides’ Herakles along with a concise commentary on the play and an extensive essay on the trauma of war, the true face of heroism, and the healing power of friendship and community.

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Product Details

  • Publisher: Olive Branch Press (January 1, 2006)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781566566353

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Raves and Reviews

"An eloquent and memorable study of Herakles Gone Mad and a wonderfully performable, vivid new translation of the play."

– Jonathan Shay, author of Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming

"Robert Emmet Meagher's brilliant rendering of Euripides' Herakles once again proves that he is the finest translator of ancient Greek drama in English"as relevant today as it was the day it was first written in ancient Greek."

– Michael Elliot Rutenberg, Professor of Theater, Hunter College, City University of New York

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