King Admetus escapes death when his wife Alcestis volunteers to die in his place. This is the basic premise of the ancient play which Ted Hughes reworked to create his own vision of human suffering.
Alcestis is the story of a king, Admetus, who escapes death when his wife, Alcestis, volunteers to die in his place. Ted Hughes's version goes beyond translation to an inspired rethinking of the story in terms of his own vision of human suffering.Although he started working on this piece in 1993, he did not finish it until a few months before his death in 1998. It is the culmination of an extraordinarily productive period of work, which saw the publication of Tales from Ovid (1997), Birthday Letters (1998) - winners, consecutively, of the Whitbread Book of the Year - and The Oresteia (1999).