Towering over the rest of Greek tragedy, the three plays that tell the story of the fated Theban royal family—Antigone, Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus—are among the most enduring and timeless dramas ever written. Robert Fagles's authoritative and acclaimed translation conveys all of Sophocles's lucidity and power: the cut and thrust of his dialogue, his ironic edge, the surge and majesty of his choruses and, above all, the agonies and triumphs of his characters. This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction and notes by the renowned classicist Bernard Knox.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Praise for David Grene and Richmond Lattimore’s Complete Greek Tragedies
“This is it. No qualifications. Go out and buy it everybody.”—Kenneth Rexroth, Nation
“The translations deliberately avoid the highly wrought and affectedly poetic; their idiom is contemporary. . . . They have life and speed and suppleness of phrase.”—Times Education Supplement
In presenting the story of King Oedipus and the tragedy that ensues when he discovers he has inadvertently killed his father and married his mother, the play exhibits near-perfect harmony of character and action. Moreover, the masterly use of dramatic irony greatly intensifies the impact of the agonizing events and emotions experienced by Oedipus and the other characters in the play. Now these and many other facets of this towering tragedy may be studied and appreciated in Dover's attractive inexpensive edition of one of the great landmarks of Western drama.
Oedipus Rex unfolds amid a city in the relentless grip of a plague. When an oracle proclaims that only an act of vengeance will lift the curse from Thebes, King Oedipus vows to bring a murderer to justice. His quest engenders a series of keen dramatic ironies, culminating in the fulfillment of a dreaded prophecy. Oedipus at Colonus finds the former ruler in exile. Old and blind, he seeks a peaceful place to end his torment, but finds only challenges from his reluctant hosts and a summons back to Thebes from his warring sons. The trilogy concludes with Antigone, in which Oedipus's courageous daughter defies her tyrannical uncle in a provocative exploration of the demands of loyalty and duty.
In Sophocles' tragedy, Oedipus discovers that he has been caught in his terrible destiny, unknowingly murdering his father and marrying his mother.
This perfomance features a new translation from the original Greek by director Nicholas Rudall.
Starring (in alphabetical order): Spencer Garrett as Shepard, Chorus Francis Guinan as Messenger, Chorus Gregory Itzin as Creon Charles Kimbrough as Priest of Zeus, Chorus Harry J. Lennis as Oedipus Rod McLachlan as Second Messenger, Chorus Carolyn Seymour as Jocasta W. Morgan Sheppard as Teiresias, Chorus
(P)2003 L.A. Theatre Works
Oedipus Rex, also known as Oedipus the King or Oedipus the Tyrant, is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed about 429 BC (noted classicist Gilbert Murray, translator of this version of the play, rendered the title as Oedipus, King of Thebes). It was the second in order of Sophocles's composition of his three plays dealing with Oedipus.
Thematically, however, it was the first in the trilogy's historical chronology, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Oedipus the King tells the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes the king of Thebes, whilst in the process unwittingly fulfilling a prophecy that he would kill his father Laius and marry his mother Jocasta.
The play is an example of classic tragedy, notably containing an emphasis upon how Oedipus's own faults contribute to his downfall (as opposed to making fate the sole cause). Over the centuries, Oedipus Rex has come to be regarded by many as the Greek tragedy par excellence.
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