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.
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.
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.
“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