Aeschylus I contains “The Persians,” translated by Seth Benardete; “The Seven Against Thebes,” translated by David Grene; “The Suppliant Maidens,” translated by Seth Benardete; and “Prometheus Bound,” translated by David Grene. Sixty years ago, the University of Chicago Press undertook a momentous project: a new translation of the Greek tragedies that would be the ultimate resource for teachers, students, and readers. They succeeded. Under the expert management of eminent classicists David Grene and Richmond Lattimore, those translations combined accuracy, poetic immediacy, and clarity of presentation to render the surviving masterpieces of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides in an English so lively and compelling that they remain the standard translations. Today, Chicago is taking pains to ensure that our Greek tragedies remain the leading English-language versions throughout the twenty-first century. In this highly anticipated third edition, Mark Griffith and Glenn W. Most have carefully updated the translations to bring them even closer to the ancient Greek while retaining the vibrancy for which our English versions are famous. This edition also includes brand-new translations of Euripides’ Medea, The Children of Heracles, Andromache, and Iphigenia among the Taurians, fragments of lost plays by Aeschylus, and the surviving portion of Sophocles’s satyr-drama The Trackers. New introductions for each play offer essential information about its first production, plot, and reception in antiquity and beyond. In addition, each volume includes an introduction to the life and work of its tragedian, as well as notes addressing textual uncertainties and a glossary of names and places mentioned in the plays. In addition to the new content, the volumes have been reorganized both within and between volumes to reflect the most up-to-date scholarship on the order in which the plays were originally written. The result is a set of handsome paperbacks destined to introduce new generations of readers to these foundational works of Western drama, art, and life.
A landmark anthology of the masterpieces of Greek drama, featuring all-new, highly accessible translations of some of the world’s most beloved plays, including Agamemnon, Prometheus Bound, Bacchae, Electra, Medea, Antigone, and Oedipus the King
Featuring translations by Frank Nisetich, Sarah Ruden, Rachel Kitzinger, Emily Wilson, Mary Lefkowitz, and James Romm
The great plays of Ancient Greece are among the most enduring and important legacies of the Western world. Not only is the influence of Greek drama palpable in everything from Shakespeare to modern television, the insights contained in Greek tragedy have shaped our perceptions of the nature of human life. Poets, philosophers, and politicians have long borrowed and adapted the ideas and language of Greek drama to help them make sense of their own times.
This exciting curated anthology features a cross section of the most popular—and most widely taught—plays in the Greek canon. Fresh translations into contemporary English breathe new life into the texts while capturing, as faithfully as possible, their original meaning.
This outstanding collection also offers short biographies of the playwrights, enlightening and clarifying introductions to the plays, and helpful annotations at the bottom of each page. Appendices by prominent classicists on such topics as “Greek Drama and Politics,” “The Theater of Dionysus,” and “Plato and Aristotle on Tragedy” give the reader a rich contextual background. A detailed time line of the dramas, as well as a list of adaptations of Greek drama to literature, stage, and film from the time of Seneca to the present, helps chart the history of Greek tragedy and illustrate its influence on our culture from the Roman Empire to the present day.
With a veritable who’s who of today’s most renowned and distinguished classical translators, The Greek Plays is certain to be the definitive text for years to come.
Praise for The Greek Plays
“Mary Lefkowitz and James Romm deftly have gathered strong new translations from Frank Nisetich, Sarah Ruden, Rachel Kitzinger, Emily Wilson, as well as from Mary Lefkowitz and James Romm themselves. There is a freshness and pungency in these new translations that should last a long time. I admire also the introductions to the plays and the biographies and annotations provided. Closing essays by five distinguished classicists—the brilliant Daniel Mendelsohn and the equally skilled David Rosenbloom, Joshua Billings, Mary-Kay Gamel, and Gregory Hays—all enlightened me. This seems to me a helpful light into our gathering darkness.”—Harold Bloom
This carefully crafted ebook: "The Oresteia Trilogy (Unabridged English Translation)" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. The trilogy known as The Oresteia, consists of the three tragedies Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers and The Eumenides. This trilogy of plays, written a number of years B.C.E., dramatizes one of the earliest, most culturally significant myths of Ancient Greek civilization—how a series of revenge/power-motivated murders in the family of King Agamemnon of Mycenae eventually leads to the establishment of democratic justice. One of the few surviving complete examples of Classical Greek drama, the trilogy is populated by archetypal characters, whose actions explore themes relating to the nature and purpose of revenge, and the relationship between humanity and spirituality (the gods). Aeschylus was the earliest of the great Greek tragedians and the principal creator of Greek drama. He is called the 'Father of Tragedy'.
These contemporary translations of four Greek tragedies speak across time and connect readers and audiences with universal themes of war, trauma, suffering, and betrayal. Under the direction of Bryan Doerries, they have been performed for tens of thousands of combat veterans, as well as prison and medical personnel around the world. Striking for their immediacy and emotional impact, Doerries brings to life these ancient plays, like no other translations have before.
Aeschylus (525–456 BC) brought a new grandeur and epic sweep to the drama of classical Athens, raising it to the status of high art. In Prometheus Bound the defiant Titan Prometheus is brutally punished by Zeus for daring to improve the state of wretchedness and servitude in which mankind is kept. The Suppliants tells the story of the fifty daughters of Danaus who must flee to escape enforced marriages, while Seven Against Thebes shows the inexorable downfall of the last members of the cursed family of Oedipus. And The Persians, the only Greek tragedy to deal with events from recent Athenian history, depicts the aftermath of the defeat of Persia in the battle of Salamis, with a sympathetic portrayal of its disgraced King Xerxes.
Philip Vellacott’s evocative translation is accompanied by an introduction, with individual discussions of the plays, and their sources in history and mythology.
This spellbinding, groundbreaking translation reenergizes Aeschylus’ enduring saga of split loyalties, bloody sacrifice, and the efforts to bring peace after generations of strife. The most renowned of Aeschylus’ tragedies and one of the foundational texts of Western literature, the Oresteia trilogy is about cycles of deception and brutality within the ruling family of Argos. In Agamemnon, afflicted queen Clytemnestra awaits her husband’s return from war to commit a terrible act of retribution for the murder of her daughter. The next two plays, radically retitled here as The Women at the Graveside and Orestes in Athens, deal with the aftermath of the regicide, Orestes’ search to avenge his father’s death, and the ceaseless torment of the young prince. A powerful discourse on the formation of democracy after a period of violent chaos, The Oresteia has long illuminated the tensions between loyalty to one’s family and to the greater community. Now, Oliver Taplin’s “vivid and accessible translation” (Victoria Mohl) captures the lyricism of the original, in what is sure to be a classic for generations to come.
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