Alcestis

Euripides

Alcestis (; , Alkēstis) is an Athenian tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Euripides. It was first produced at the City Dionysia festival in 438 BC. Euripides presented it as the final part of a tetralogy of unconnected plays in the competition of tragedies, for which he won second prize; this arrangement was exceptional, as the fourth part was normally a satyr play. Its ambiguous, tragicomic tone—which may be "cheerfully romantic" or "bitterly ironic"—has earned it the label of a "problem play." Alcestis is, possibly excepting the Rhesus, the oldest surviving work by Euripides, although at the time of its first performance he had been producing plays for 17 years.