The New York Sun has a(n accessible) lengthy piece by UPenn's Emily Wilson on Anne Carson's Grief Lessons .... here's the incipit:

Anne Carson is a literary scholar, an original and striking poet, and the author of several previous imitations of ancient Greek poets, including a recent translation of Sappho, "If not, Winter." Her latest work, "Grief Lessons" (New York Review Books, 312 pages, $19.95), is a version of four plays by Euripides, "Alkestis," "Hekabe," "Herakles," and "Hippolytos" — an eclectic selection that provides an excellent introduction to Euripides's range.

Ms. Carson's Euripides is bleak, moving, and provocative, offering a painful reminder of the resonance of these ancient plays with our own times. Aristotle called Euripides the "most tragic"of the three great Athenian tragedians — more so than Aeschylus or Sophocles. For Aristotle, as for most subsequent readers, Euripides was the tragedian who had the most immediate and devastating impact. You cannot read these works without intense emotion, although what you feel may be a strange and confusing mixture, which includes not only pity and fear, but also horror, titillation, and even amusement.

Euripides was also the most controversial of the three great Athenian tragedians in his own time. Aeschylus presented the Trojan War as the scene for grand, elemental, necessary conflicts between opposing systems of value. Euripides offers sympathetic portraits of characters who have come off poorly in earlier versions of Greek myths (such as Helen), while showing many of the respected heroes (Agamemnon, Achilles, Herakles) as either cynical opportunists or weaklings. Euripidean characters often find it impossible to be sure of keeping hold of dignity, sanity, or a sense of self. They are conscious of their own inability to live up to earlier tragic models.

... the rest ...