Page extent: 512
ISBN: 9781783190287
Binding: PaperBack

Tantalus: The Greek Epic Cycle Retold in Ten Plays (Second Revised Edition)

John Barton


Who is to Blame?

What is the Truth?

Could it be Otherwise?

When theatre began, two and a half millennia ago in ancient Greece, it drew from a well of even older myths, the Great Epic Cycle. These myths were Europe’s first image of the tragedy and comedy of the human enterprise. Stories and characters from the beginning of our imagination inspired John Barton to write the great cycle of human life Tantalus, an epic theatre myth for the new millennium.

Its subject is the Trojan War, a crusade which becomes a catastrophe. Helen of Troy – was she really the cause of this ten-year war? Agamemnon’s anguish – did he have to kill his daughter to start the war? Clytemnestra – was her murderous revenge justified? A wooden horse – how can it destroy a great city? Heroes humbled, children hurt, mothers and fathers bereaved, entire nations shaken and rebuilt: all pass through this kaleidoscope of human fate. 

This new, revised and streamlined edition of Tantalus is the culmination of a life-time's work.


Additional Information

ISBN13 9781783190287
Binding PaperBack
Page Extent 512


‘Over a 20-year period, Barton has created in Tantalus a massive theatrical work that deals with the beginnings, climax and aftermath of the Trojan… Barton is at his best in the three central plays that deal with the actual conduct of the Trojan war… an intriguing, thought- provoking and exhilarating spectacle’ Michael Billington, Guardian