I hear Iphigenia is great. Maybe that should be my next Euripides.
I'm putting this here because it's what I'm looking at at this moment when I need to write something down...I'm trying to figure out what the "best" ones are.
BEST EURIPIDES PLAYSThat I've Read
HippolytosThat I'm Guessing About
Iphigenia (wtf, there are two of these? I think Tauris is supposed to be better?)
Heracles (and Children Of?)
TOP TEN according to one collection:
"Alcestis," "Medea," "Hippolytus," "Andromache," "Ion," "Trojan Women," "Electra," "Iphigenia Among the Taurians," "The Bacchants," and "Iphigenia at Aulis."
TOP TEN according to Signet:
Alcestis, Hippolytus, Ion, Electra, Iphigenia at Aulis, Iphigenia Among the Taurians, Medea, The Bacchae, The Trojan Women, and The Cyclops.
TOP X according to fuckin' Harold Bloom:
Cyclops, Heracles, Alcestis, Hecuba, Bacchae, Orestes, Andromache, Medea, Ion, Hippolytus, Helen, Iphigenia at Aulis
On all three:
Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytos, Bacchae, Iphigenia (Aulis)
Two votes out of three: Ion, Trojan Women, Elektra, Iphigenia (Taurians), and Cyclops, which is the only surviving satyr play and therefore I'm totally reading it.
Okay, here's some fuckin' fascinating info from this syllabus at some college or other:
Besides being greater in number, the surviving plays of Euripides provide some of the most important information known about Greek tragedy in general. The nineteen dramas extant come down to us via two very different paths. One group, called the select plays (Alcestis, Andromache, Bacchae, Hecuba, Hippolytus, Medea, Orestes, Phoenician Women, Rhesus and Trojan Women), were the ten prescribed as required reading in the late Greek and Byzantine school system—all fourteen of the tragedies we have by Sophocles and Aeschylus belong to the same category—which is to say, all of these plays are acknowledged classics.
The other group are called the alphabetic plays (Electra, Helen, Heracles, Heracles' Children, Hiketes [The Suppliants], Ion, Iphigenia in Aulis, Iphigenia among the Taurians, and Kyklops [Cyclops]), because they come most likely from one part (volume two?) of a complete set of Euripides' work, originally organized in roughly alphabetical order. These are all dramas having titles that begin with the letters E to K—in Greek, eta to kappa—or roughly the second fourth or fifth of the alphabet. From this alone it seems safe to assume that they were preserved not because literature teachers saw them as the most effective drama to read in the classroom but by chance when, no doubt, a lone volume from a complete edition of Euripides turned up at some point in history and was integrated into the ten "select plays."
Awesome, right? Super interesting. The rest of that essay-thing is probably worth reading at some point too.
On all three above lists and also "select" list:
Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytos, Bacchae
Three out of four: Iphigenia (Aulis), Trojan Women
Basically there's no fuckin' consensus at all about any of this. Who woulda thought it'd be so, like, controversial? I even started a Listopia list
to try to crowdsource an answer. (Of course, idiots will fuck that list up in like a day.)
I own Alcestis and Cyclops (the satyr play) in Volume Five. Volume One (the other one I own) kinda doesn't look to have anything else important in it.