Euripides (circa 480 circa 406 BC) was a playwright of AncientGreece (5th century BC), one of three great tragedians whose works have survived to the present day (the earlier two are Creator/{{Aeschylus}} and Creator/{{Sophocles}}). A whopping eighteen of his plays have survived complete (many via a remarkably-preserved 800-year-old copy of The Complete Works of Euripides -- Volume 2: Eta-Kappa, although the Theta plays remain lost), along with fragments of many others. One of these, ''The Cyclops'', is a SatyrPlay about Polyphemus.

His works are noted for having subtler and more realistic characterization than his predecessors, having women as major characters with the complexity and subtlety far superior than his predecessors and fellow writers[[note]]To the point there is a saying that if the work doesn't have a major female character, it can't be from Euripides.[[/note]] and for playing with the established tropes of Greek tragedy. On the other hand, Creator/FriedrichNietzsche condemns Euripides for being in thrall to Creator/{{Socrates}}' philosophy, saying that Euripides "killed" tragedy by infusing it with reason and philosophical ideas.

Any discussion of Euripides has to make note of the fact that he had a LoveItOrHateIt reputation during his day. Euripides was well aware of the constraints placed upon playwrights at the time, and many of his plays attempted to subvert at least one of the established theatrical conventions. Breaking conventions made him divisive among both public and the critics. In general, he had a better popular than a critical reputation. He was parodied in Creator/{{Aristophanes}}' ''Theatre/TheFrogs'' where he was compared unfavorably to Creator/{{Aeschylus}}. Nonetheless, today, some scholars regard him as the best, and certainly the most modern, of the three surviving Greek playwrights and several regard him as the Shakespeare of Athens.

Extant works include:

* ''Theatre/{{Alcestis}}''
* ''Andromache''
* ''Theatre/{{Bacchae}}''
* ''Cyclops'' - The only surviving SatyrPlay.
* ''Electra''
* ''Hecuba''
* ''Helen''
* ''Heracleidae''ien
* ''Heracles''
* ''Theatre/{{Hippolytus}}''
* ''Ion''
* ''Iphigenia at Aulis''
* ''Iphigenia among the Taurians'' - Euripides' FixFic because ancient fan boys hated what happened to the eponymous Iphigenia.
* ''Theatre/{{Medea}}''
* ''Orestes''
* ''Phoenician Women''
* ''Rhesus''[[note]]Though the authorship is questioned with the most often cited reason is the lack of woman in a major role[[/note]]
* ''The Suppliants''
* ''Theatre/TheTrojanWomen''

----
!!Works by Euripides with their own trope pages:

* ''Theatre/{{Alcestis}}''
* ''Theatre/{{Bacchae}}''
* ''Theatre/{{Hippolytus}}''
* ''Theatre/{{Medea}}''
* ''Theatre/TheTrojanWomen''

!!Other works by Euripides provide examples of:

* AllThereInTheManual: We have enough of Greek mythology to give the background to some of these plays, as well as to know the storylines of many of the {{Missing Episode}}s.
* AuthorTract: ''Iphigenia at Aulis'' and ''Iphigenia in Tauris'', against HumanSacrifice.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: A lot of his plays deal with the fact that the Gods are entirely alien to human suffering, human concern and human morality -- ''Heracles'' and ''Iphigenia at Aulis'' especially.
* {{Bowdlerize}}: It is impossible to clean ''Cyclops'' up, for [[SatyrPlay obvious reasons]], but some translations phrase things so that it ''doesn't'' sound like the satyrs are talking about gang-raping Helen.
* CharacterFilibuster: An atheistic one survives from ''[[SatyrPlay Sisyphus]]''. It's the title character giving it...
* {{Deconstruction}}:
** ''The Trojan Women'' plays up the tragedies which befall the people of Troy after their city fell rather than focusing on the heroics of the main characters. And this isn't the only example--Wiki/TheOtherWiki has noted that Euripides's plays tended to use and adjust old myths and lore to explore the quandaries of contemporary Athenian culture. Which, of course, ''used'' those old myths' baseline forms to define and justify its culture.
** Some of his plays are either UnbuiltTrope to the structure of drama defined in ''Literature/{{Poetics}}'' or a TakeThat. Aristotle argued that tragedy ought to have purpose, a defined beginning-middle-end and must provide catharsis. Euripides' plays often deal with characters confront senseless and absurd fates, where many of them lament the suffering visited on them, little of which seems to have any meaning.
--> '''Clytemnestra''': ''I cannot think where/to start my bitter story,/for its beginning is grief,/its middle is grief/its end/is grief.'' (Iphigenia at Aulis, translated by W. S. Merwin and George Dimock).
* DeusExMachina : Aristotle and Aristophanes chided him for making use of this obvious devices. Later generations of literary critics especially in the 20th Century, now regard Euripides' as a StealthParody or an UnbuiltTrope of a GainaxEnding, especially after the likes of Creator/BertoltBrecht realized that these kinds of endings could be useful for {{Irony}} and pastische.
** As many later theater directors and audiences noted, the DeusExMachina often doesn't really resolve the drama. In ''Iphigenia at Aulis'', Iphigenia agreed to submit to HumanSacrifice, Agamemnon carried it out and Clytemnestra drowns in grief. The fact that the Goddess Artemis replaced Iphigenia with a deer at the last moment doesn't change the fact that Iphigenia will never really see her mother and father again, nor will it change the end of the marriage between her parents.
** Likewise, in ''Medea'', the fact is Medea killed her children, Jason is too late to save it, and he and others have to live with Medea becoming a KarmaHoudini and the grief of the tragedy.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: ''Phaëton'' is lost, but it's a given that this trope featured big time.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Orestes is put through hell and back, but he eventually finds peace and happiness.
* EyeScream: Inflicted in ''Hecuba'' and ''Cyclops''.
* GreekChorus: Although Creator/{{Aristotle}} complained in ''Literature/{{Poetics}}'' that the choruses lost touch with the play.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: Discussed and[=/=]or conversed in a surviving fragment of ''Stheneboea''.
* MamasBabyPapasMaybe: In ''Ion'', Apollo exploits it; Ion is in fact Creusa's son after Apollo raped her, but the oracle tells Creusa's husband that he is his son. Genetically, since Xuthus is one of Apollo's many half-brothers, he's Ion's uncle.
* MissingEpisode: Ancient sources credit him with writing 95 plays. We've only got 19.
* MoodWhiplash: ''Heracles'' begins with the father, wife, and three sons of Heracles (a.k.a. Hercules) about to be executed by the tyrant, Lycus. At the last moment, Heracles returns and saves his family. Hooray! Then they go to make a sacrifice, [[spoiler:only for Heracles to be driven mad and murder his wife and sons]].
** In general this is the greatness of Euripides, his ability to mix tones from tragedy to comedy and satire which many critics realize was something that he, alone among ancient dramatists, would share with Shakespeare. ''Alcestis'' is another great example.
* MortonsFork: How Agamemmnon feels about his lot in ''Iphigenia at Aulis''. To get swift winds to sail to Troy, he must sacrifice Iphigenia even if he doesn't want to. If he decides to back away, having gathered his army who are composed of GlorySeeker and thirsty for pay or adventure, he cannot back away from sacrificing Iphigenia, otherwise he will face TheMutiny from soldiers who will in turn decide to sack Argos, attack him, murder his family, rape, enslave or kill Iphigenia, anyway. Achilles later in the play confirms Agammenon's fears when he tries to reason with other soldiers not to accept it, and they (including his Myrmidons) get agitated and insist that Iphigenia be sacrificed.
* OutlivingOnesOffspring: The bitter fate of Hecuba, and the cause of her woes, and that of Andromache.
* PaterFamilicide: The drama of Heracles deals with the situation that led to the protagonist killing his wife and children.
* PatrioticFervor: In ''Iphigenia at Aulis'', the protagonist comes around to accepting her role as a victim of HumanSacrifice when she realizes that with it Greece would triumph over the Trojans and the Greeks would rule over the barbarians. Given the context of Euripides time and the centuries before (i.e. memories of Persian invasion, hegemony over the Delian league, war with Sparta) it's possibly either played straight (i.e. an attempt to make a victim into a TragicHero), [[StealthParody or its satirical of patriotism by which the most absurd and insane actions can be rationalized and even glorified]].
* PayEvilUntoEvil: Hecuba's revenge in the play of the same name. When the war first broke out, she and Priam had entrusted Polymestor with their youngest son, as well as the dough to keep him going, but when Troy fell Polymestor killed the kid for the gold. Hecuba lures him to the tent with his two sons, then she kills them and [[EyeScream pokes their father's eyes out]].
** Alcemene (Heracles's mother) finally gets revenge on King Eurystheus, who had tormented her entire family, in ''Heracleidae''. She spends the entire scene talking about how he deserves to be killed, despite it being against the law of Athens, the city she was in at the time, to kill a defenseless prisoner.
* PunchClockVillain: Copreus in ''Heracleidae''.
* RapePillageAndBurn: ''Trojan Women'' and more or less a concern in many of his plays. In ''Heracles'', the hero's wife Megara was subject to much taunts about rape from the Theban army before Heracles arrived, and in ''Iphigenia at Aulis'', the Chorus, Achilles and the slave often comment about Clytemnestra and Iphigenia among soldiers.
* SacredHospitality[=/=]EvenEvilHasStandards: In ''Hecuba'', even war criminal Agamemnon was horrified to learn that Polymestor had murdered a guest.
* SatyrPlay: His ''Cyclops'' is the only one surviving today.
* TheNewRockAndRoll: There was some kind of major musical change in Athens in the fifth century, and it's possible that Euripides, unlike most tragedians, made use of 'new music'. This is one of the things that earned him his LoveItOrHateIt reputation.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: According to contemporary sources, Antigone and Haemon in the now-MissingEpisode ''Antigone''. Fragments of ''Phaëton'' suggest the title character of that one was, too. Euripides' plays about Iphigenia reveal that she was not actually sacrificed to Artemis. Instead, Artemis took Iphigenia to Tauris, where she served Artemis as a priestess.
* UnfortunateNames: Copreus in ''Heracleidae''. Imagine naming your kid "Shitman". Bit of a FreudianExcuse for his PunchClockVillain status.
* WarIsHell: A common interpretation of ''Trojan Women'' is as a criticism of Athenian atrocities during the Pelopenesian War.
* WhosOnFirst: A ForegoneConclusion in ''Cyclops''.

----