The arrival of the Danaids and their father in Argos and their request, in the name of the gods, for a refuge from their male cousins, who have aggressively pursued them, create serious political and moral problems for the king of Argos. What claim do these foreign petitioners have on his protection? Should he run the risk of war in order to uphold his religious obligations? What role do the people of Argos have in making that decision? Do these women have a legal right to refuse to get married? The play brings these issues—as relevant today as in ancient Greece—dramatically alive without providing any easy resolution.
Ian Johnston’s new translation of a notoriously difficult Greek text provides a fluent English version of this ancient play, well suited for reading, recitation, or performance.