My research sits between classics and modernist studies, but does not take the canonical form of that interdisciplinary research, i.e. tracking the genetic inheritances of an ancient canon of texts in modernist aesthetics. Instead I invert this impulse: I am interested in pursuing, on the one hand, the role of modernism and the canonization of modernist aesthetics in mediating the narrative category of the classical and the canon of ancient texts. On the other, I focus on the generative crisis that the classical, as a category whose signature gesture is a periodizing narrative of historical rupture, poses to the utopian aesthetics of modernist rupture as formalized in the shock of the new. My dissertation takes up these problems by targeting the longstanding interpretive structure in the reception of Euripides that has taken the ancient Greek tragedian to be preëmptively modern. It proceeds as a series of case studies in the 20th-century interpretation and adaptation of Euripides, looking to moments when the assertion of Euripides’ modernity has proved generative for modernist, post-modernist and avant-garde aesthetics.