I like the lucidity of Carson’s prose, the framing essays around these plays, and the prefaces to each one: the sense of knowledge and ease and also a sly smile when she writes things like “The first eight hundred lines of the play will bore you, they’re supposed to.” The four plays: Herakles, Hekabe, Hippolytos, Alkestis: Herakles and his madness, Hekabe and her rage, Hippolytos and his prudishness, the riddle of Alkestis. Carson’s language is minimalist, never forced: “God found a way/to be surprising./That’s how this went.”

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