The Theban Plays: <i>Oedipus the King</i>, <i>Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone</i>

JHU Press
2
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Sophocles’ Theban Plays—Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone—lie at the core of the Western literary canon. They are extensively translated, universally taught, and frequently performed. Chronicling the downfall of Oedipus, the legendary king of Thebes, and his descendants, the Theban Plays are as relevant to present-day thought about love, duty, patriotism, family, and war as when they were written 2,500 years ago.

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.

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About the author

Ruth Fainlight is a noted British poet, short story writer, translator and librettist. Among her many honors are a 1987 Hawthornden Fellowship and the 1994 Cholmondeley Award for Poetry. Her libretto for the Royal Opera House's Garden Venture program of new opera was short-listed for the Laurence Olivier Award in 1992. Robert J. Littman is a professor of classics at the University of Hawaii and author of numerous books and articles in classical studies, including The Greek Experiment: Imperialism and Social Crisis 800–400 B.C.

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Additional Information

Publisher
JHU Press
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Published on
Mar 20, 2009
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Pages
284
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ISBN
9780801895418
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Language
English
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Genres
Drama / Ancient & Classical
History / Ancient / General
Literary Collections / Ancient & Classical
Literary Criticism / Ancient & Classical
Literary Criticism / Drama
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Sophocles I contains the plays “Antigone,” translated by Elizabeth Wyckoff; “Oedipus the King,” translated by David Grene; and “Oedipus at Colonus,” translated by Robert Fitzgerald. 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.
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