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.
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.
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
This play is also available as a collection in “The Oedipus Trilogy In Plain and Simple English."
The original text is also presented in the book, along with a comparable version of both text.
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Recent translations of the plays, while linguistically correct, often fail to capture the beauty of Sophocles’ original words. In combining the skills of a distinguished poet, Ruth Fainlight, and an eminent classical scholar, Robert J. Littman, this new edition of the Theban Plays is both a major work of poetry and a faithful translation of the original works.
Thoughtful introductions, extensive notes, and glossaries frame each of the plays within their historical contexts and illuminate important themes, mythological roots, and previous interpretations.
This elegant and uncommonly readable translation will make these seminal Greek tragedies accessible to a new generation of readers.
accessible to today’s students and could be staged for modern audiences.
Line notes printed at the bottom of the page bring a reader further
quick assistance. . . .
“The choral odes as rendered here
deserve special notice. After giving a succinct analysis of each in his
introduction, Woodruff translates the lyrics into English that is both
poetic and comprehensible. . . . Woodruff’s rendering of the dialogue
moves along easily; these are lines that any contemporary Antigone,
Creon or Haemon might speak. Antigone’s words on the gods’ unwritten
laws keep close to the Greek and yet would be authentic for a modern
speaker. . . .
"Woodruff’s introduction is a strong, clear, and
clever blend of basic traditional information (to those who know Greek
tragedy) and fresh insights. . . .
"Should our drama department
ask for my advice as to a playable text, I would certainly suggest
Woodruff’s new version."
—Karelisa Hartigan, The Classical Bulletin
Blinded and disgraced, Oedipus dwells quietly in Thebes until the kingdom is roiled by discord attributed to his presence and the curse put upon him by the gods. The citizens banish their erstwhile sovereign to years of lonely exile. Finally, the aging king finds refuge in a sacred olive grove at Colonus, near Athens. In the meantime, Oedipus' two sons wage a struggle for control of Thebes. Secure in the protection of Theseus, ruler of Athens, and faithfully attended by his daughters Antigone and Ismene, Oedipus is a towering tragic figure whose final years comprise a moving portrayal of the perseverance of human dignity in the face of an incomprehensible and impersonal universe.
Students, teachers, and lovers of classical drama will welcome this inexpensive edition of an enduring literary and theatrical landmark.
These translations enable readers to engage the Theban plays of Sophocles in their full, authentic complexity, and to study with precision the plays’ profound and enduring human questions. In the preface, notes to the plays, and introductions, Ahrensdorf and Pangle supply critical historical, mythic, and linguistic background information, and highlight the moral, religious, political, philosophic, and psychological questions at the heart of each of the plays. Even readers unfamiliar with Greek drama will find what they need to experience, reflect on, and enjoy these towering works of classical literature.
A great masterpiece on which Aristotle based his aesthetic theory of drama in the Poetics and from which Freud derived the Oedipus complex, King Oedipus puts out a sentence on the unknown murderer of his father Laius. By a gradual unfolding of incidents, Oedipus learns that he was the assassin and that Jocasta, his wife, is also his mother.
Trachinian Women • Philoctetes • Oedipus at Colonus
The greatest of the Greek tragedians, Sophocles wrote over 120 plays, surpassing his older contemporary Aeschylus and the younger Euripides in literary output as well as in the number of prizes awarded his works. Only the seven plays in this volume have survived intact. From the complex drama of Antigone, the heroine willing to sacrifice life and love for a principle, to the mythic doom embodied by Oedipus, the uncommonly good man brought down by the gods, Sophocles possessed a tragic vision that, in Matthew Arnold’s phrase, “saw life steadily and saw it whole.”
This one-volume paperback edition of Sophocles’ complete works is a revised and modernized version of the famous Jebb translation, which has been called “the most carefully wrought prose version of Sophocles in English.”*
From the Paperback edition.
In this outstanding new translation, commissioned by Ireland's renowned Abbey Theatre to commemorate its centenary, Seamus Heaney exposes the darkness and the humanity in Sophocles' masterpiece, and inks it with his own modern and masterly touch.
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.
KING OEDIPUS tells of a man who brings pestilence to Thebes for crimes he doesn't realise he has committed, and then inflicts a brutal punishment on himself. It is a devastating portrayl of a ruler brought down by his own oath. OEDIPUS AT COLONUS provides a fitting conclusion to the life of the aged and blinded king, while ANTIGONE depicts the fall of the next generation through the conflict between a young woman ruled by her conscience and a king too confident in his own authority.