Read Iphigenia: The Complete Plays of Jean Racine - Volume III by Jean Racine Geoffrey Alan Argent Online


Dans le chaos provoqué par les indécisions d'Agamemnon, Iphigénie, symbole de pureté, se soumet aux volontés de son père. Ambition d'Agamemnon, désir de gloire d'Achille, orgueil de Clytemmestre, jalousie d'Ériphile : la pièce donne à voir des passions déchaînées qui, toutes, font d'Iphigénie leur victime. L'oracle divin ne semble alors rien d'autre que le révélateur des pDans le chaos provoqué par les indécisions d'Agamemnon, Iphigénie, symbole de pureté, se soumet aux volontés de son père. Ambition d'Agamemnon, désir de gloire d'Achille, orgueil de Clytemmestre, jalousie d'Ériphile : la pièce donne à voir des passions déchaînées qui, toutes, font d'Iphigénie leur victime. L'oracle divin ne semble alors rien d'autre que le révélateur des passions des hommes. Les spectateurs de Versailles ont pleuré sur le sort d'Iphigénie, mais c'est aussi la plus inquiétante fureur humaine qui est ici mise en scène....

Title : Iphigenia: The Complete Plays of Jean Racine - Volume III
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ISBN : 9780271048598
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 154 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Iphigenia: The Complete Plays of Jean Racine - Volume III Reviews

  • David Sarkies
    2019-04-26 02:13

    Rationalising the Greek legends7 August 2015 Anybody who is familiar with the Ancient Greek plays will know that this is a modern retelling of the story of Euripides Iphigeneia at Aulis. However it is told from a more rationalistic, secularist point of view rather than a direct translation from the original. For those who do not know, the story is set just prior to the Trojan War when Agamemnon is preparing to set sailed with a Greek armada to 'rescue' Helen from Paris, who had kidnapped her (or did she go willingly because Paris was a much more romantic person than Menelaus) and taken her to Troy. However the winds were not blowing favourably so Agamemnon asks the gods what the problem is and they tell him that unless he offers up his daughter as a sacrifice the winds will not change. This play is about the personal and social struggles that Agamemnon faces between his wife (Clytemnestra), who does not want to see her daughter sacrificed, and the Greek kings, who want to sail off to Troy and are looking for any sign of weakness in Agamemnon so they they may depose him. The problem with this play is that there is a happy ending, which no doubt would have impressed the original audience (who were probably not that familiar with the story, in the same way most of us moderns are not familiar either). Unfortunately it does not work because the whole reason that Agamemnon was murdered by his wife when he returned from Troy was because he had sacrificed his daughter at Aulis. One could also argue that this was simply an excuse to get rid of a troublesome husband and for Clytemnestra's lover to take over the mantle of kingship. There are also further problems with Euripides' version where Iphigeneia was replaced by a cow and then spirited off to Tauris by Artemis, but this is probably not the forum for it to be discussed (though I don't actually discuss it in my treatment on Iphigenia in Tauris). The other thing I should note with this play is the political undertones that are evident. The issue is raised as to Agamemnon's real reason for going to Troy: to extend his empire across the Aegean to Asia. However, it should be remembered that his hold on the Greek alliance is tenuous at this point in time, though as it turns out it is only Agamemnon and Menelaus who have a problem with the Trojans (though no doubt this is an aspect of Greek nationalism in that while they may not have been united under one king, the fact that a foreigner – a barbarian – kidnapped a Greek princess, would have set the hackles of all the Greeks on edge). There is only one other Greek king that plays a major role in the play: Achilles. Achilles is also torn because he has been betrothed to Iphigeneia, but he also wants the glory of going to war against the Trojans. He forms the catalyst of the whole mission, and is also the key to Agamemnon's power: he is the king that can pretty much decide whether Agamemnon remains overlord. The other interesting thing is that the whole nature of this event reminds me of another story; one of the foundational stories of Christianity: Abraham and Isaac. In this story Abraham, after waiting a very long time and growing to an age that nobody could consider him to be fit to have a child, gives birth (or his wife does) to a son. God then tells him to take his son up onto Mount Moriah and to offer him up as a sacrifice, something that Abraham dutifully does. However, at the last moment God intervenes and sends a lamb. I wonder whether, in producing this play, Racine is causing his audience to remember this Bible event (which no doubt the audience would be much more familiar). It is difficult to tell, though I suspect that since we are in an age of rationalism at the time of the writing of this particular play, Racine is probably questioning, and using the fickle Greek gods as a platform, the nature of the Christian god.

  • Lemar
    2019-05-20 22:12

    This classical Greek play, originally by Euripides who based in on Homer's Odyssey, is a classic story involving the deepest of human passions. Agamemnon in torn between his thirst for glory and immortality on the one hand, and the survival of his beloved daughter on the other. Much like Solomon, he appears forced to make a choice. This choice, however, is more Greek because it involves vanity and not the pure love of God that Solomon was exhorted to show. Here Agamemnon has everything lined up; he has been chosen, out of many competing kings, to lead the military expedition against Troy that will restore honor to Greece after the way Paris and Helen shamefully skipped town together. The army is assembled, Achilles is there to marry Agamemnon’s daughter Iphigenia before leaving, but the wind won’t blow. the boats are stuck, weeks go by and not a breath of wind. People’s primitive nature increases in direct proportion to their desperation and that comes out here. Appeals are made to the gods. The gods have an Oracle (a spokesman for God somewhat self appointed not unlike the many we have now) and he declares that Iphigenia must be sacrificed on the altar to please the gods who will then make the wind blow. Beautiful scenes ensue in which Racine gets to the heart of human desires including: the urge to protect a loved one even at the cost of one’s own life, duty to a cause greater than oneself, filial piety, the urge to appease God with a sacrifice, the fungible nature of divine proclamations made by a human interpreter. Robert Boswell provides a beautiful English translation of Racine’s tender, insightful and in many ways modern rendering of this ancient story. Racine is modern in that he brings out the emotions of the individual. Greek literary characters is already show greater individuality than most other contemporary literature in which people are often portrayed as cogs in a wheel, but Racine adds to this with his deft portrayal of characters, Iphigenia in particular, who change their mind more than once during the play and express their reasons with heartfelt eloquence. The whole 'virginity is honor' thing is worth remarking on because look at the trouble it causes. Is it time to get over this? Yes, and yet we are not over it. The fact that western countries were so heavily into this, royal officials inspecting marital bedsheets and so on until very recent times is reflected in this play. Racine reveals that honor as measured by a woman’s virginity is a mania of its own that can easily lead to hubris in the individual and violence on a small as well as large scale. The intrusive relegating of half the population to the status of an object that can be wrecked is dangerous, cruel and wrong. It is easy to look at the middle east and places where they are not subtle about it but his idea continues to pervade and infect our culture. Racine here is like Mark twain on slavery, showing us a horrible incongruity in the hopes that we will not see it the same way again. Racine is promoting at least two important ideas: to come to our own moral conclusions without perceived divine intervention, and to cut out this nonsense about honor being measured by virginity.This is a play well worth reading, I wish I could read it in French!

  • Estelle
    2019-05-05 00:04

    Elle était quand même un peu cinglée cette Iphigénie, et sous ses airs de noble victime elle a bien foutu la merde.Achilles, mec, trouves toi une nana plus équilibrée.

  • Mina Soare
    2019-04-29 01:53

    Racine sacrifices the vigour or Euripides's play for character development and often comes across as slightly humorous, which is perhaps unintentional in a tragedy. To be quite fair, couplet rhymes and short verses are more common in simple childish poetry (that might be more of a Romanian thing). I read Racine, but what I hear is...Humpty Dumpty sat on a wallHumpty Dumpty had a great fall Jack be nimble, Jack be quickJack jump over the candlestick On the other hand, this is one of Racine's better works, I think. While it lacks the overbearing pathos of Andromaque and the je ne sais quoi of Euripides, it more closely mirrors themes of jealousy, pettiness, impulsiveness, deceit and justifications. Intentional or not, this play strikes me as distinctly inesthetic and human.And I did DNF it a five-six of times...

  • Writerlibrarian
    2019-05-22 00:11

    This is a retelling of the tragic destiny of Iphigenia the start of the fall of the House of Atreus in Greek myth. From that one act, sacrifying Iphigenia to the gods so the winds would permit the fleet to travel to Troy, Agammenon pushes on the first domino of a series ending with the end of his dynasty (see Orestes and Electra) in mayhem and blood. Racine twists the story so that the sacrifice is still offered but the ending is different. Agamemnon is shown as a caring father but weak man, Ulysses is... well... himself, cunning, coy and making sure things get done, Achilles is the noble but dimmed hero that was betrayed by his leader. Iphigenia is the strong, beloved daughter and tragic heroine. Very popular play at the time of its writing (1600's) but has become old fashioned and is rarely shown now. It was fun to revisit.

  • Dorottya
    2019-05-07 23:05

    Too bad it starts out really slow and dragged and the language is sometimes hard to "decode", because otherwise it is brilliant. I love the characters. I love how Agamemnon still has this pride issue even after him realizing his pride issue. I like how different the orders of value of each character is, also, without each of them represented as "the right one". Also, Iphigenia's reactions seem really authentic for her approximate age.My favorite character was Eriphile, btw. Even though she committed a sin, I really felt for her. Her ending was truly beautiful, at least in my opinion.

  • Eteaqueen
    2019-05-04 22:05

    At drama A level I spent just over a year studying Greek theatre and its tropes. From the idea of the fatal flaw to the art of building tension and creating catharsis among the audience, I think its safe to say to have a pretty in-depth knowledge of this type of theatre. While I am very aware that Iphegina is not, in fact, a true Greek tragedy and is instead a French neoclassical adaptation of on, I still feel that this misses the mark. I read this in an evening catching up on my European theatre class for university and out of the 3 plays we were studying for this unit on paper this should have been my favourite. Instead, I was met with dry characters, a rushed plot, and little to no building of tension. The dialogue between the characters when in distress didn't feel believable, the crux of the plot was so rushed it failed to demonstrate the sheer magnitude of the problem Agamemnon and Iphigenia faced. The love triangle between Achilles, Iphigenia and Eriphile was also poorly executed, I didn't feel that Eriphiles feelings were believable, she didn't seem to love Achilles as she claimed. Overall after the lectures I attended outlining Racine's importance and significance in French theatre I was left utterly disappointed.

  • Ahmed Allala
    2019-05-11 00:55

    Sublime tragédie dont l'histoire revient à la mythologie grecque. C'est l'histoire d'un roi qui doit sacrificier sa fille par un ordre divin. C'est la reaction aussi de sa femme et l'amant d'Iphigénie en apprenant ce mauvais sort.Clytemnestre est mon personnage favori pour la simple raison qu'elle symbolise l'opposition à la culture, à la religion, au peuple qui tous veut effectuer ce sacrifice ,y compris le père Agamemmon.A lire

  • Lisajean
    2019-05-18 00:19

    Great characters, but the ending is ridiculous. Achilles is wonderful.

  • Mariana
    2019-05-21 21:50

    Amé, amé, amé, amé! Me encantó!Releerlo hizo que me gustara incluso más.

  • Caroline
    2019-04-30 20:10

    Suivant un oracle, les Dieux demandent le sacrifice d’Iphigénie, fille d’Agamemnon et Clytemnestre pour obtenir des vents favorables vers Troie. Le sacrifice d’Iphigénie fait écho au destin tragique des Atrides. S’inspirant de la tragédie d’Euripide, Racine n’en livre pas moins une interprétation autre du sacrifice d’Iphigénie. Racine présente un père qui, avant de s’incliner devant la nécessité de sacrifier sa fille, essayera de la sauver. L’introduction du personnage d’Eriphile (et la « justification » qu’en donne Racine dans sa préface) contribue à la singularité de cette pièce et à la (ré)interprétation du mythe, notamment au regard du dénouement. Cette pièce est remarquable en ce qu’elle met en joue des conflits de sentiments (père/fille, père/mère pris comme époux, fille/fiancé…) et positionne les protagonistes dans un jeu complexe de forces antagonistes. La revisite de ce mythe permet à Racine peint un climat de terreur religieuse. Si le nom de Calcas revient de manière régulière dans la bouche des personnages, il n’en reste pas moins vrai que celui-ci n’est jamais représenté sur scène. Le tragique de cette pièce réside pour l’essentiel dans cette fatalité religieuse : les hommes se croient libres, alors qu’ils sont les jouets des Dieux qui oeuvrent à leur malheur.

  • Ali
    2019-04-30 21:02

    ایفی ژنی، یا "ایفی ژنیا"، یکی از دختران "آگاممنون"، پادشاه آتن است. اگرچه در اساطیر یونان چندان از او یاد نمی شود، اما اغلب تراژدی نویسان یک تراژدی به نام ایفی ژنی سروده اند. پیش از جنگ تروا، هنگامی که آگاممنون مورد قهر الهه "آرتمیس" قرار می گیرد، "کالخاس" پیش گو به او توصیه می کند برای فرونشاندن خشم الهه، دخترش ایفی ژنی را در معبد آرتمیس قربانی کند. آگاممنون ابتدا نمی پذیرد اما با فشار دیگران و از جمله برادرش "منلاس" که پادشاه اسپارت است ("هلن" همسر همین منلاس، بعدن توسط پاریس ربوده می شود و همین علت اصلی جنگ ده ساله ی یونانیان علیه تروا می شود) آگاممنون می پذیرد که ایفی ژنی را در معبد آرتمیس قربانی کند. اما آرتمیس بر آگاممنون رحم می آورد و به چند روایت، ماده غزالی یا ماده گاوی را برای قربانی، بجای ایفی ژنی می فرستد (داستان ابراهیم و قربانی کردن فرزندش اسماعیل در روایت اسلامی، یا اسحاق در روایت کتاب مقدس). آرتمیس، دختر جوان آگاممنون را به جزیره ی "کریمه" می برد و او را به پاسداری معبد خود می گمارد. ایفی ژنی تا سال های متمادی در معبد آرتمیس به عنوان کاهن خدمت می کند و... اغلب تراژدی های راسین از اساطیر یونانی گرفته شده، اگرچه این داستان ها پیش از راسین، توسط تراژدی نویسان یونانی و رمی، بارها بازنویسی شده اند.

  • rebecca
    2019-04-24 21:07

    I preferred Phèdre to Iphigénie as the supposedly tragic ending is unsurprisingly anticlimactic – the effect is that of deus ex machina – and the development of the plot was fairly repetitive. I personally disliked the author's preference for Achille and his treatment of the jealous Ériphile. Nonetheless, the voice Racine lends his heroes and heroines remains pristinely beautiful and the tale is in itself interesting, especially from the perspective that Racine is audaciously rewriting History.

  • Charlotte
    2019-04-23 00:06

    (view spoiler)[La fin de cette pièce me fait penser à celle de Mithridate. Racine aime les mariages heureux à la fin, c'est pour cela qu'à chaque fois, je n'aime qu'à moitié ses tragédies qui ne se terminent pas vraiment tragiquement justement, ici avec la mort d'un personnage auquel on ne s'attache pas vraiment. Finalement les personnages qui plaisent au public sont préservés d'un destin tragique. (hide spoiler)]

  • Jamie
    2019-05-04 23:04

    I enjoyed this, a more complex plot than Racine's other mid-career tragedies, with a good build up and a number of twists and turns.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-04-23 21:00

    I think this is the play in which I learned the meaning of "deus ex machina."

  • Maria
    2019-05-09 01:56

    Génial une des meilleures pièces de Racine, probablement la meilleure après Andromaque