Iphigeneia in Tauris (in Greek: Iφιγένεια ἡ ἐν Ταύροις) is a drama by the playwright Euripides, written sometime between 414 BC and 412 BC. It bears much in common with another of Euripides' plays, Helen, and is often described as a romance, a melodrama, or an escape play.
Years before, the young princess Iphigeneia narrowly avoided death by sacrifice at the hands of her father, Agamemnon (see plot of Iphigeneia at Aulis). At the last moment, the goddess Artemis (to whom the sacrifice was to be made) intervened and replaced Iphigeneia on the altar with a deer, saving the girl and sweeping her off to Tauris. She has been made a priestess at the temple of Artemis in Tauris, a position in which she has the gruesome task of ritually sacrificing foreigners who land on King Thoas' shores.
Iphigeneia hates her forced religious servitude in Tauris, and she is desperate to contact her family in Greece, inform them that she is still alive, thanks to the miraculous swap performed by Artemis, and return to her homeland, leaving the role of high priestess to someone else. Furthermore, she has had a prophetic dream about her younger brother Orestes and believes, based on it, that he is dead.
Meanwhile, Orestes has killed his mother Clytemnestra to avenge his father Agamemnon with assistance from his friend Pylades. He becomes haunted by the Eumenides for committing the crime, and goes through periodic fits of madness. He is told by Apollo to go to Athens to be brought to trial (portrayed in Eumenides by Aeschylus). The trail ends in his favor, however the Eumenides continue to haunt him. So Apollo sends him to steal a sacred statue of Artemis to bring back to Athens, and then he would be set free.
Contrary to Iphigeneia's dream, Orestes is alive and well and on his way to Tauris with Pylades to steal the sacred statue. They have no idea that Iphigeneia is there. Not surprisingly, they are captured by Taurian guards and brought to the temple to be killed, as is customary.
Iphigeneia and Orestes discover each other's identities, and together they devise a plan to escape. Iphigeneia tells King Thoas that the statue of Artemis has been spiritually polluted due to her brother's matricide. She advises Thoas to let the two foreigners cleanse the sacred idol in the sea to remove the dishonor she has brought upon it as its keeper. The three Greeks use this as an opportunity to escape on Orestes' and Pylades' ship, bringing the statue with them. Thoas vows to pursue and kill the three escapees, but he is stopped by the goddess Athena, who appears at the end to give instructions to the characters.