mythical Athens has to face a serious challenge when Heracles' persecuted
children seek help. Producing conditionswhich
remarkably resemblecontemporary Athens Euripides succeeds in presenting
characteristic elements of the 5th century polis democracy. There is light and
shade in a tragicplot where we see
humanity confronted with hard consequences. The play, presumably performed in
the beginnings of the Peloponnesian War, realizes considerable achievements of
a free polis without overlooking questionable actions.