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Euripides: Hecuba

Hecuba and Polyxena, by Merry-Joseph Blondel. Via Wikimedia Commons.Hecuba (Greek: Ἑκάβη) is a tragedy by Euripides thought to have been written around 424 BC. The plot examines the fate of Queen Hecuba of Troy after the city's fall to the Greeks.

Hecuba loses two of her surviving children in the early scenes of the play. Her daughter Polyxena is carried off by Odysseus to be sacrificed to the shade of Achilles. Her son Polydorus, who Hecuba believes is safely in hiding, is murdered by his guardian, King Polymestor of Thrace, in order to sieze Trojan treasure.

Hecuba learns the truth when Polydorus' body is washed up on the sea shore. Her appeals to Agamemnon for justice go unheard. Instead she lures Polymestor to her tent, where she enacts a bloody revenge, killing his sons, and leaving him blinded.

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Free online texts

Didaskalia: Hecuba, translated by Jay Kardan & Laura-Gray Street. PDF format.

Gutenberg: The Tragedies of Euripides, Vol I, translated by Theodore Alois Buckley (1892). Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: Euripides' Hecuba, Greek text edited with notes Michael Tierney (1946). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: L 484 Euripides II Children Of Heracles Hippolytus Andromache Hecuba. Loeb Edition, Greek and English parallel text. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Hecuba, Greek text edited by Charles Buller Heberden. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Hecuba, Greek text edited by W.S. Hadley (1894). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Hecuba of Euripides, translated by John Bond (1882). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Hecuba and Medea of Euripides, translated by W. Brownrigg Smith (1877). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Hecuba of Euripides, translated by R. Mongan (1865). Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: Hecuba, translated by E.P. Coleridge. HTML and TXT formats.

Internet Archive: The Hecuba of Euripides, Greek text with notes by T.K. Arnold (1852). Multiple formats.

Loebulus: L009 - Euripides -- Euripides I: Iphigenia at Aulis. Rhesus. Hecuba. The Daughters of Troy. Helen. Greek and English parallel text. Loeb edition, PDF format.

Perseus: Greek text and English translation by E.P. Coleridge. HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Hekabe, translated by George Theodoridis. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Hecuba, translated by E.P. Coleridge. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translations. HTML and other formats.

Performances and Reviews

Pasadena City College, 2012.

YouTube: Hecuba.

Royal Shakespeare Company 2015

RSC: Hecuba.

Independent: The RSC's new 'Hecuba' - A vengeful queen with a difference, Holly Williams, 23 September 2015.

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 2015

YouTube: Hecuba.

Other Resources

Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies, The Captive Woman's Lament in Greek Tragedy, by Casey Dué. Chapter Four: The Captive Woman's Lament and Her Revenge in Euripides' Hecuba.

History of Ancient Greece: Euripides at War, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: Hecuba, translated by T.A. Buckley. Public domain audiobook.

Randolph College: Study Guide for Hecuba, Fall 2010, by Professor Amy R. Cohen.

Sententiae Antiquae: Highlights from Euripides' Hecuba, 1 March 2017.

Wikipedia: Hecuba (play)

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Homer: The Iliad

Homer: The Odyssey

Euripides: The Trojan Women

Seneca: The Trojan Women - incorporates the sacrifice of Polyxena from Hecuba.

A.E. Haigh: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks (1896).

 Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.

Bloom's Western Canon: Hecuba is listed.

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