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

JHU Press
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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

JHU Press
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Published on
Mar 20, 2009
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Drama / Ancient & Classical
History / Ancient / General
Literary Collections / Ancient & Classical
Literary Criticism / Ancient & Classical
Literary Criticism / Drama
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