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The following program was produced and recorded by the University of Michigan broadcasting service under a grant and aid from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Classical drama a series of five Complete plays of Antiqua day in modern translation today. If what you and I are in Taurus by your repartees as published by the University of Chicago Press translation by which urban or original music composed by Gerry Billick and conducted by Henri and Dolly produces for this University of Michigan series Jerry Sandler. Now to preface today's production of if a giant Taurus here is William Smith professor of classical languages at the University of Texas. Brilliant. Improbable and superbly theatrical. Europe it is a fiction I tower as is commonly described as a romantic melodrama or even as an escapist fantasy.
And with good reason. The play is clearly not tragic. It's plot design like play it is skillful and situation counts for a great deal and characterize ation for very little. None of the leading characters for instance is given more than Def generalizing traits and the various lightness of the characterize ation draws attention to the virtual city of the scenes. The finish of the plot and the facility of execution smooth dextrous again inelegant. The play seems at first sight sheer entertainment and melodrama lively and clever perhaps but without a thought in its head. Doubt this it is all these things and it's no less good for being them. What more need we ask. We need ask nothing more unless the player requires something more. And this it seems to me to do. But despite the players facilitating the parent frivolity I am struck by the repeated intrusion into this artificial world of harsh fifth century reality
and Europe that in tragic experience again and again we are confronted with the real world of the late fifth century. The anguish of war. The vision of the dead to the doomed the tragic illusion of ambition and the deceptive hope of empire. The Exiles longing for home the bitter memory of hellish peace if you would would love a new ending from the impossible distance of the present. They're all here touched in allusive layer directly but relentlessly present to the action and given doubled for some violence against the romantic background. Taken individually they see a mere tonal irony is but in their own song they give the play an entirely different dimension suggesting tragedy without compelling it and darkening the romantic with the real. If this play is melodrama it is melodrama deliberately tilted toward the experience of national tragedy and exploiting those feelings symbolically symbolically
how it's perhaps easy for moderns to misunderstand or over read. But I wonder what sensitive Athenian could have resisted the images which this place sets before him in the light of those tragic feelings which the player deliberately exploits. A sister dedicates her brother to death by the sword. It seems melodramatic perhaps to us but that image is directly addressed to the experience and the conscience of a people which for more than 15 years had known all the horrors of fratricidal war. The symbolism is common and available suggested again and again. And so too with the famous recognition scene the same for which the whole play was built. Its power is based on the liberation of love which unites a family or a people grown estranged around familiar behind the recognition in the play lives of people's recognition a recognition of kind
for August read helis for the history of the house of Atreus the history of helis. What is war but blood sacrifice. Why the play asks Should Greeks kill Greeks. And the point is Ogham and Europe it is introduces Athena to make his case and establish in Athens the cult of the civilised Artemis who put an end to human sacrifice. The symbolism of course is the more effective for being unobtrusive. But once felt it alters the experience and shape of the play. What seems at first sight romanticism and escape becomes confrontation and recognition. A true tragic comedy in which the tragic shapes what is comic or romantic and the romantic gives poignancy to the tragic. It is I think precisely what we might have expected from the dramatist of the L sesterces and the humanist of the Trojan Women. The translation employed in
this production is that of the distinguished American poet Witter Bynner originally done for performance by Isidora Duncan and her dances. The translation is one of the first specifically modern translations of Greek tragedy. Thank you Professor Arrowsmith. And now the University of Michigan Broadcasting Service presence in Taurus. The play opens on the steps of a temple by the seaside in Taurus down the steps leading to a blood stained altar inside comes if a denial of the High Priestess she stands alone meditating her fate.
He is the son of attentiveness by maiming a chariot won a bronze. Who brought him a truce. And a truce had two sons one minute late as. The other. When 10 by quite a nest I had a child and I am sure. If. People believed that I was sacrificed by my own father to Artemis in the grave was soon to have. A plan and with. In the bay. Area with a long deep waves are caught and broken either ended up by the whims of a baby while Agamemnon's pleased his thousand ships from hairless waited to unhinge on Freud the wrong done and a latest with a loss in a Storm King. And still in up a storm and night of the sea no wind would favor Agamemnon. So he asked the soothsayer to consult the flying.
And this is what was answered. Agamemnon captain of headless. They can be no way of setting your ships weightily offering you promised Artemis is given her. Who had vowed to render her and sacrifice. The loveliest thing each year should. You have owed long since the loveliness which Clytemnestra had blown to you. Daughter if it Janaya. Summon your daughter now and keep your face and the distance in his will and me from my mother by pretending that I should what Achilles would come to as they laid hands on me. The flame was lit the blow would have been struck I saw the knife. Just to see their eyes with the idea to believe. In stormy through the eyes of the sky. She says. Down here in this town of Taurus this abode of
savage men ruled by their uncouth King tow us horsemen headlong as the wind to Station me a High Priestess a nod to Miss Temple. And still I said this service may seem a holy word. From Julio these are what does I am bound to obey never to question. Her command that I must serve the heaven lives of our son. It was a custom long before I came an ancient cruel custom. My hands prepare the victims of the hands there in the in a tempest the blood. Which is the whole world upon this stone. Perhaps a moment of despair speaking.
Truth was Fabio. McKinnon. Who knew a room. Under. The ground. I ran outside and watched. The coop unfold the cross beams by can give. Them the. Palace. To base. Around him. We need a name. And then. My wheel by. Turns toward strange is condemned to die. You. Touched. This bacon bowl to.
Put them on. Because I knew that Kareem was a risk. And is. The pillar of both time and he is the son. The water is a certain sign of death. He could not move my family next of kin stuffies My uncle never heard or saw him. It was my brother whom I touched with tears. And I was poor a few wooden roller. Like. One of the women from Greece the king appointed to live with me and help me here in the temple. I wonder where they are. I need.
Give a sharp look out. Somebody may be coming. In both directions and there's no hill that he has this the shrine of autumn mist weaves his home and he sees to find since we left August he said Oh please is this the strike I think it is arrestees. Yes it is Mike that stone faced him with blood and grease. Yes ever I saw blood look on the air looking at the real belongings of the dead who Fiza foreigners these men have murdered it and will murder again. Viewers Why must I or can you see me again the sight of blood again. Have I not seen enough blood. My mother's shed my father's blood I heard him in the few days with their highest blood hunted me hunted me across the line. To lust I ran to the end begun end of all those cycles of despair that Sabet near me maddened me through hell is. The
answer has. To. Go to the tare and country where Autumn is my sister has a shrine to find there her statue which is falling down from heaven. Then prove yourself a man able enough or fortunate enough to see it. Stalwart enough to face all risk and bring it home to the holy land of Attica. Who almost made my use to it that this would mean the end of my afflictions. And here he goes off from home. Just because you are. Doing high will. But really it is my fellow venture where can we turn what man could possibly scale is high walls or climb the open stairs and not be seen first the brazen locks without whoever's behind them hearing. If we are caught it will be certain death your death as well as mine even is waiting wondering what to do may cost our lives.
Enough of it enough. Back to great arrestees. What do we know our flight. How should we dare to take a course of which our hearts know nothing. Why should we disobey Apollo's order to him disarm. No. We shall find a way. Come let us leave the temple. That is look for a dark cave to hide in another ship. By now they must have spied the ship from shore they be ahead of us catch us and end us. Notice the opening between those beams. It's wide enough under the Knights to my we could drop through and hoist a wooden statue. A coward turns away but a brave man's choice is danger. And by all the gods shall we coming this far now at the end turn back. I should have been the one to say those words. He has let us go and find a hiding place. Keep faith with fevers and deserve his help. Have we not youth youth with its fill of scrapings should be ashamed
to turn away from any task. Let those who dwell close to these clashing rocks that God gave us signs say keep silence now before Latona as daughter Artemis goddess of the pointer the hills of Artemis become unconsecrated feet into the high court. Beautiful as the golden blooming of by calling the. High Priestess calls us she who keeps the high keys were left behind for the whole land of tennis and battle tower as the shore of horses in the quiet fields where enough fathers lived and we'll be her coat to wear should be Miss and bitter had long and. Far
from your roses. And from happiness. In Fujian daughter of virtue who would ships of thousands draw and let our numbered men against high towers and sure we heard your call and we have come to you. Why have you summoned us. What makes your cheeks. Thoughtful and so what is your time to tell that your bra is dark and bowed upon your head. My maidens listen. Listen while I tell what I have seen you use. And I am moaning. But I. Guess I saw. You for. The crew was clear.
My father's house is formal and I've really spoken I'm done. The wrist still. Grieve for all of us. For all his people. Faint tin still scourging need takes from all our August's my own brother. To the vanished head I now feel poor and offering. A gift upon the. Commingle of the milk of mountain climbing of the wind of this and of the honey that the russet has gathered. Pace. Which includes my tribute to Coco.
With. Whom I live under that. And. Told. Me to sweep this one each and use your lips. Better. I cannot do you cannot bring to you bring it to my head and quietly lay them down upon your grade. You though from childhood you have thought me dead. He can cry. For mine. And. A lady was always in need for your warm. Words I like a song of all which mourners from the far off East. But the day. Of requiem of. Where love no return and no home use the no note
of glory only the desolation of the grave mourn for the sons of Atreus in whose house the hearth can never burn. Mourn for their bitter How to a home which waits the coming of a happy king but cannot give him when. Trouble was born for ever in their sky when he lops tricked the car of toppling horses out of the race. We're all because of a golden lab. Which long ago beckoned contesting men mischief began to undermine your house. Vengeance has made it on up he said way with every dark to death. Visited your family one by one. Now. When. Are half. Baked if pursuing you. Your turn has come. The term might be gaining in the one who bore me. From the very night when she was.
Appointed by the Fates to suffer in this world I was a child a cursed she cherished me. The first ball. And thrilled that I of all the Guns of August should be a bride upon the way to Troy. What had she known me for and loved me for. To be destroyed by my own father's hand to come behind the horses of the light not to Achilles to grief and horror. And beside this melancholy city I live my days alone. No love no friends wife no man and mother of no child. I feel no guns some with our guide women to the Queen of Heaven I
believe upon the wording. To no tale of palace rock to. Stand. Talk to. The cry talk to my mom man. Too He just used to be told. Even that seems a little odd to me now. Now that her throne is empty. And his eyes are done with he has time I wish mine were. I who have loved him through these lonely years shall never see him now. But as I left him a little baby at his mother's breast I who had thought to see him as a king. It's been running stemming from the beach. What's going to happen there.
Agamemnon I bring you new certainty not for this rough outcry in the temple ship from sea has passed through the simplicities and through the fog. Two fellows waded ashore and never was a finer offering than these two boys were before Artemis. I have been sent to tell you to make ready. Where are they from what country could you same from Harris. But I couldn't say which part. What were their names. Perhaps you heard any one of them called the other pillaging the one who spoke. I didn't hear his name. Where were they captured. Right there on the shore. What were you herdsman doing on the shore. Oh washing our cattle there. Tell me again how were they captured. This is the first time in all the years I have been living here that any of you ever brought a Greek to be the offer in Greece. Just as we drove our cattle from the woods to that long hollow with the curving Tigers cut away the cliff where the beach men rest from purple fishing one of us a head came stealing back on tiptoe and he wound us. Those are not
men but Godspeed hind that rock not man but gods and then another herdsman caught sight of them and raised up his hands and prayed over sea goddess. Master of ships protect does whether these boys be the twins of battle sons of the favorites of Zeus or else be brothers of the ocean the sons of Nero's God were like me but I was another jeered at us and laughed out loud so that I thought my dogs would turn on him. But he was sure that must have been a wreck. And these were sailors looking for a cave to hide in. Having heard that strangers hear a sacrifice and he persuaded most of us and we were thinking what to do when one of them ran around the rock just staring not at us or anything that we could see but have the air in shook and groaned ducking his head from side to side behind his arms as if we'd gone insane and he was calling out shop as a hunter realities.
Look at her. Oh look. Surely you see her now that seeing. Another. Look at the snakes their mouths wide open. And riding my gun is another one. You look at that one up on the cliff I watching fire on me lifting my mother's body like a rock so she can smash it down on me and maybe we could tell by the way he jerked his head. Whenever a dog barked or a cow move that if a fury wasn't chasing him he thought there was an every sound he heard. He might have knocked us flat there in a row we were so stunned. But instead of drawing his so hard he lunged into our cattle like a lion as if they were the fuel rigs and ripped their sides with his mike till blood was running down staining the edge. We were just untrained herdsman facing expert young swordsman but we saw the cattle
wounded and dying and we hunted for stones and sticks and blew our shelves for help and pretty soon farmers enough had joined us to fight as we slowly started for the woods. He's just left him. I can see him now standing a moment while I watch he drops in a heap and foaming at the lips. Once more we started toward him with a stones and a stick but still his comrade unafraid of us leaned down to wipe off the mouth and then laid a piece of linen over the face to shield it. Suddenly the fallen man stood up. Coleman himself again and faced the rush of rocks we heaved at him like breaking waves. We crowded in on him from every side and he gave one groan as we surrounded him ready to capture him or finish him and then we heard his voice ring out and say this is death. Let's meet up. Well it is like man we come together with us shards of metal flashed at us we backed and tricked them into the hollow and there were some of us would run for cover. Others would
throw rocks to drive us towards me often and then give way and let the first large rally with new arms pose and. Yet we couldn't seem to hit those fellas. I don't see how it was with all the stones we threw at them that hardly one when straight home we could manage was to wear them down by working round each man aiming our volleys just at his sword which which once he lost his grip he was too winded to pick up again. Where Are They Now. We first took our prisoners to the king but he told us we should bring them here and you should get them ready for sacrifice. Back to Korea. Asked Artemis to send us more of them. More sailor boys from Greece. Send them to Taurus and let Mormon from Hell us pay with blood after their shouting for your blood at allas my lady this is no ordinary man who has come from shores of Hellas to an alien shore and battled like a god. Go back and bring me the two foreigners I shall be waiting for them when you come in.
Which on me has been compassion tended toward strange. Yesterday First a quick Greeks who might be lost and moral. Crushing dream has changed. Since arrestees is no more alive no. Matter. Of finding a woman. Eunice who friends can hardness towards up a sorrow hotshot than our own. Something in between the rocks might bring me. Helen Helen Oh my God I'm one of them the sacrifice and mind that it was headlines and his the
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Classical drama
Iphigenia at Tauris, part 1
Producing Organization
University of Michigan
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents the first part of Euripides' "Iphigenia At Tauris," in a translation by Witter Bynner.
Other Description
This series presents full-length productions of Greek and Roman plays of antiquity in modern English translation with original music especially composed for this series. Each play is introduced by William Arrowsmith, University of Texas.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-58-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:03
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Chicago: “Classical drama; Iphigenia at Tauris, part 1,” 1961-08-10, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 20, 2022,
MLA: “Classical drama; Iphigenia at Tauris, part 1.” 1961-08-10. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 20, 2022. <>.
APA: Classical drama; Iphigenia at Tauris, part 1. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from