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
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 students, scholars, theatrical professionals, and general readers alike 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
“The reception of Ancient Greek theater is as lively as it’s ever been in its 2,500-year history, both on the stage and on the page. Thanks to these sixteen brilliant new renditions by five leading scholar-translators, the three great Athenian masters of tragic drama, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, speak to us once again in powerfully contemporary accents on such fundamental issues as gender, religion, and democratic politics.”—Paul Cartledge, author Democracy: A Life
“The Greek Plays is destined to become a perennial collection, essential reading for students, scholars, and lovers of Greek tragedy alike. This engaging compilation imbues all the ancient plays within its pages with new life by offering rich, informative historical, literary, and cultural context and fresh, accessible translations by some of the most talented classicists working in the field today.”—Bryan Doerries, author of The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today
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 II contains “The Oresteia,” translated by Richmond Lattimore, and fragments of “Proteus,” translated by Mark Griffith. 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.
Five of the greatest, most studied, and most performed Greek tragedies, each in an outstanding translation, include Oedipus Rex and Electra by Sophocles (translated by George Young), in which the much-admired playwright explores the individual's search for truth and self-knowledge; Medea and Bacchae by Euripides (translated by Henry Hart Milman), favorites with modern audiences for their psychological subtlety and the humanity of their characters; and Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus (translated by George Thomson), a monumental work that examines relations between humans and the gods. Includes a selection from the Common Core State Standards Initiative: Oedipus Rex.
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'.
Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays can still be read or performed, the others being Sophocles and Euripides. He is often described as the father of tragedy: our knowledge of the genre begins with his work and our understanding of earlier tragedies is largely based on inferences from his surviving plays. Only seven of his estimated seventy to ninety plays have survived into modern times. Fragments of some other plays have survived in quotes and more continue to be discovered on Egyptian papyrus, often giving us surprising insights into his work.
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