Read Three Theban Plays by Sophocles Pedro De Blas Peter Constantine Online

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Three Theban Plays, by Sophocles, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics: New introductions commissioned from today'Three Theban Plays, by Sophocles, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics: New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars. Biographies of the authors. Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events. Footnotes and endnotes. Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work. Comments by other famous authors. Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations. Bibliographies for further reading. Indices &amp glossaries, when appropriate. All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences, biographical, historical, and literary, to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.The pinnacle of classical drama in Greece, the three-part, 2,500 year-old Oedipus cycle remains a touchstone of Western culture. Nearly perfect technically, the plays feature headstrong heroes, intense plots, and breathtaking imagery that have influenced generations of artists, philosophers, and statesmen. These fresh, historically faithful renditions by renowned translator Peter Constantine bring new life to civilization's most meaningful dramas. Rich in sex and violence, the plays follow the tragic downfall of King Oedipus, a man who mistakenly believes he can control his own destiny.In Oedipus the King, we watch as the hero learns the truth about his past, including his murder of his father, Laius, and marriage to his mother, Jocasta. Written just before the death of Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus features a more subdued tone as the blind, exiled king reflects on his passing from this world. Antigone, the earliest written of the three, presents the powerful story of the iron-willed daughter of Oedipus as she takes a fatal stand against her uncle Creon, the new ruler of Thebes. Favoring her own moral code to the dictates of an unjust ruler, Antigone becomes the first heroine in Western literature and a model of civil disobedience.Pedro de Blas holds degrees in law and classics and has taught Greek at Columbia University and the CUNY Latin/Greek Institute. He has acted in several productions of Greek tragedy in the original and he is the author of the introduction and notes to Essential Dialogues of Plato, also published by Barnes & Noble Classics....

Title : Three Theban Plays
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ISBN : 9781411433304
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Number of Pages : 150 Pages
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Three Theban Plays Reviews

  • Bookdragon Sean
    2018-10-23 15:30

    The Three Theban Pays are the absolute pillar stone of ancient Greek drama, and in my opinion they contain two of the best plays ever written:Oedipus the KingandAntigone. Oedipus the King- because sometimes life's a real bitch. Fate is unavoidable in ancient Greek Tragedy. Trying to avoid it will only lead to it, and doing nothing will lead you there too. So if a God tells you that you will die at the hands of your son, and that he will then go on to steal your wife, you’d best do nothing because it’s going to happen anyway. Any preventative action you take will only lead to the same ending. So, you’re pretty much screwed. You might as well lie down and accept it. The God's are mean. But, nope, if you’re like the King of Thebes you’ll leave your infant son for dead instead. Poor Oedipus. He really didn’t have much chance in life. He could do nothing to intervene with his own destiny, mainly because his tragic flaw is his lack of awareness about his true origins. He hears a rumour of the prophecy told to his farther, so he endeavours to stay away from him. But, in doing so he is pushed ever closer to his real farther. That’s the problem with being abandoned at birth; you just don’t know who is who in the world! There’s some irony in this somewhere. Indeed, it suggests that no free will exists at all because any exertions of the supposed free will lead to the predetermined fate. So every action has been accounted for already. The intended audience may have been aware of these powers but Oedipus and his farther were hapless in their wake. They had to both learn the hard way. Oedipus had to recognise it, and in the process he shattered his life: it made him tear out his very eyes. Now that’s real grief. There’s no wonder Aristotle made this his model for the perfect play because this is masterful.Aristotle’s theory can be used to assist the reader in understanding how the plot contributes to the tragedy. I couldn’t have read tragedy without it. The tragedy is created, in part, by the complexity of its plot which leads towards the catharsis. According to Aristotle’s Poetics the complexity of the plot is established through reversal, recognition and suffering. A simple plot will only establish one of these; therefore, it will have a limited catharsis. The reversal (peritpeteia) is the change of a state of affairs to its opposite, such as the reversal of Oedipus’ identity. The recognition (anaghorsis) is achieved through the acquiring of knowledge, like the knowledge Oedipus gains of his birth. Aristotle argues that an effective plot has its anaghorisis bound up with the peritpeteia. This is because it, “carries with it pity or fear” such as these following lines:"O god-All come true, all busting to light!O light- now let me look my last on you!I stand revealed at last-” (Lines 1305-9)I hope I didn’t lose anyone or bore them to death with my summary of Poetics. The structure is the key; it is everything in delivering the plot. If, in the cathartic moment, the action can evoke suffering through a combination of a reversal of circumstances during a brutally stark recognition, then the ultimate delivery of pity and fear will be achieved. Such is the case with Oedipus. Oedipus’s hamartia, his tragic flaw at the core of his being, is his ignorance, and when the veil is lifted he realises the tragedy of the situation; he realises all too late that fate is unshakable and unconquerable. He has unknowingly committed incest with his mother and murdered his farther, so, like I said, life is a real bitch.Oedipus at ColonusOedipus has been cursed by fate. After unwittingly killing his farther and marrying his own mother, he was cast out of his own land: he was banished by fate. He is now blind, old and has but only one wish: death. His sister-daughters (children born of incest with his mother) wish to help in this but his son-brothers want him to return to the land of Thebes alive and well. They have heard a new prophecy concerning his fate, and they have grown to fear it. However, as readers ofOedipus the Kinglearnt, trying to change fate only leads to destiny changing the path; ultimately, the destination will always remain the same: there is no escape. Oedipus is resigned to let the wind take him wherever it may go. He has learnt that he has no power. His past remerges, a dangerous past that the world considers criminal. It is one he tried to avoid, but, again, he could never escape from it. King Creon, Oedipus’ taciturn brother in law is especially angry at Oedipus for the death of Jocasta hurt him severely. It's very easy to judge others in such a situation, but as Oedipus retorts:"One thing, answer me just one thing. If,here and now, a man strode up to kill you,you, you self-righteous --- what would you do?investigate whether the murderer were your fartheror deal with him straight off? Well I know,as you love your life, you’d pay the killer back,not hunt around for justification. "As a sequel toOedipus the King and a prequel toAntigone this play is very much the middle of The Three Theban Plays.Oddly, it seems to be read far less than the other two plays, which I think is a bit of a shame. Granted, it lacks the autonomy of the others, but it is just as important in understanding the trilogy. And this is the crux of the play; it is Oedipus’ moment to defend himself, and give voice to his actions which he was not responsible for. At the same time, the plot foreshadows and leads straight intoAntigone and explains much about King Creon's choices. In terms of action- I speak of the technical connotations of the word as defined by Aristotle inPoetics- the play is lacking. There is very little in the way of tragic elements. It was only performed after Sophocles’ death when the glory days of Athens had set. The play was a reminder to its audiences of what had been lost, Oedipus served as a reminder of an age gone by, one that would never return. Reading the play today, I see the same sense of departure. This line for example as spoke by the Chorus: “Then it’s the end of Athens, Athens is no more!"I love reading Ancient Greek drama; it is so well crafted; it is straightforward yet complex; it is sophisticated yet bold and bloody. Sort of odd really when considering the fact that all deaths were off stage, but you still get the idea from it. I’d love see some modern reproductions of it live.AntigoneAntigone is a real heroine; she stands up for what she believes in. She was faced with a strong dilemma. The law of man, the word of her uncle the king, demands that her brother's body remains unburied in the open with no funeral rights, to be savaged by animals. For King Creon, this is a symbolic justice for a traitor and a rebel, but the laws of the God’s, and the ruling of Antigone’s own mind, demands that she gives him libations (death rights) that all men deserve. She buries the body and faces the consequences of the crime. Creon: And still you had the gall to break this law?Antigone: Of course I did. It wasn't Zeus, not in the least, who made this proclamation-not to meNor did that justice, dwelling with the godsbeneath the earth, ordain such laws for men.Nor did I think your edict had such forcethat you, a mere mortal, could override the gods.So, like I said she’s a heroine, for standing up against tyranny, but she isn’t the play’s tragic hero: it’s clearly King Creon. Who has the right of this situation? It is easy to brand Creon a tyrant, though to do so overlooks the reasoning behind his actions. In punishing Antigone’s dead brother, her rebellious dead brother, he is sending a political message to those that threaten the peace of Thebes. In reality he is being an effective, albeit harsh, ruler. When his niece breaks his law, he has no choice but to punish her as he would any man. He couldn’t allow her to be an exception to the rule, to do so would be to undermine the law of the land and his politics: it would be to make him a hypocrite. But, to sentence her to death, that’s a little extreme. Thus, Sophocles presents a beautifully conflicted situation. There is no longer a discernible sense of right or wrong, only a thin line of morality that separates a tyrant from a man of justice. And his conviction only gets worse; he refuses to hear what his son and the city (the chorus) think about the situation. He only sees his narrow-minded sense of justice, and ignores the effects it will have on his loved ones. He has no doubts about his actions, and demonstrates the questionable nature of a cold approach to kingship. The laws of man are not always right. Something Creon simply cannot perceive. To his mind, he is morally right, a man of good character and a king of honour. Is this not the most dangerous of leaders? Creon: I will take her down some wild, desolate pathnever trod by men, and wall her up alivein a rocky vault, and set out short rations,just the measure piety demandsto keep the entire city free of defilement.There let her pray to the one god she worships:Death—who knows?—may just reprieveher from death.Or she may learn at last, better late than never,what a waste of breath it is to worship Death.And this is what makes him the play’s tragic hero. His hamartia, his tragic flaw in Aristotle terms, is his severe lack of judgement, and his inability to perceive the wrongness of his decree. The reversal, recognition and suffering come in the form of the priest Tiresias, an old wise man who speaks to the Gods. He tells Creon what will happen if he persists down his current path, and after much resistance, Creon finally relents his folly. But it is far too late. The blood has already been shed. Tragedy has already struck, death has already struck: Creon is left in tatters. It is the hardest of lessons to learn. So what do we learn from this? Greek tragedy was didactical in purpose; it was used as a learning tool, a means of imparting wisdom to the audience. What is Sophocles message? For me it’s quite simple: open your eyes and your heart. Never presume that you are right and an absolute morale authority. For Creon, his realisation came too late. The result was a sacrifice he will never forget, Antigone's death, and the one most readers seem to sympathise with. But I implore you to look further into the play, and consider the full role of Creon. To overlook him is to overlook the point of the work:“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”This play is a spectacular piece of work, though I think reading the other two plays helps to elucidate its greatness. For me, this book is one everybody should read at least once in their lifetime.

  • فرشاد
    2018-10-02 16:27

    اگر راست باشد که حقیقت زهرآگین است، آنتیگونه را باید یک شوکران تلخ نامید. تراژدی تقابل‌ها، همه چیز در برابر همه چیز، کششی به سوی مرگ...

  • Jasmine
    2018-10-16 19:17

    'Take these things to heart, my son, I warn you. All men make mistakes, it is only human.But once the wrong is done, a mancan turn his back on folly, misfortune too,if he tries to make amends, however low he’s fallen,and stops his bullnecked ways. Stubbornness brands you for stupidity – pride is a crime.No, yield to the dead!Never stab the fighter when he’s down. Where’s the glory, killing the dead twice over?”(Tiresias, the blind prophet, to Creon, king of Thebes, uncle of Antigone in ‘Antigone’ )Three very good decisions led me to finally read the Penguin Classic Edition of Sophocles’ three Theban plays: First and foremost, I have eventually decided a few month ago to take a course in Classical Mythology. This has always been my wish, but as with so many things in life it had been postponed for years. The course did not open Pandora’s box, it has instead enhanced my understanding of literature and art in general and given me new insights of how Classical mythology is part of our cultural legacy. Amongst others we had to read Sophocles’ ‘Oedipus the King’. I knew, somewhere in my house I would find a battered, yellow Reclam edition in German: This work by Sophocles is a set book for almost every high school student here in Zurich. On the spur of a moment I decided, however, to read not only this well-known play, but to add the two other Theban Plays: ‘Antigone’ and ‘Oedipus at Colonus’. This was my second good decision. My third brave decision was to read these plays in an English translation instead of a German one, mostly because I could not find any decent new translation into German. This is how I came into the possession of a brand new copy of the Penguin Classic Edition, translated by Robert Fagles (Professor of Comparative Literature, Emeritus, at Princeton University) with introductions and notes by Bernard Knox (Director Emeritus of Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington). As so often with Penguin Classics editions, I fell instantly in love with the cover, depicting Gustave Doré’s ‘The Enigma’ (Musée d’Orsay, Paris): I cannot praise highly enough this edition and its translation. The beautiful and simple language is easy to understand even for non-native English speakers; the accompanying notes are clear and require only a basic knowledge of Greek mythology. They help to enjoy even more the compelling writing and subtle irony of the plays. If you have read ‘Oedipus the King’ years ago and are now ready to revisit this work, give it a try and read all three Theban plays by Sophocles. They consist of ‘Antigone’ (written ca. 442 B.C.), ‘Oedipus the King’ (ca. 430 B.C.) and ‘Oedipus at Colonus’ (produced after Sophocles death in 401 B.C.). Besides the beautifully structured ‘Oedipus the King’ the two other Theban plays about the idealistic Antigone and Oedipus in exile are no less captivating and have not lost their attractiveness. As all Greek dramas, Sophocles’ tragedies are based on myths that have been passed on orally. Bernard Knox explains:“The stuff from which the tragic poet made his plays was not contemporary reality but myth. And yet it did reflect contemporary reality, did so perhaps in terms more authoritative because they were not colored by the partisan emotions of the time, terms which were in fact so authorative that they remain meaningful even for us today.”(p.22)One of the best examples that these stories have the same powerful meaning as 2400 years ago is the quote mentioned at the beginning of this review by Tiresias to Creon. Nevertheless, I am aware that the modern reader of today has another approach to these works than the Athenian male viewer had (women apparently were rarely admitted to the spectacles). During my course I read several plays not only by Sophocles but also by Aeschylus and Euripides. Even though I love Greek Mythology and I am very much attracted to the Classical Antiquity, it has often been difficult for me to digest the misogyny of Classical cultures. Greek men do not seem to have been very comfortable around women. In several myths women are depicted as malicious, monstrous or even eerie. Monsters are often female. It seems that Antigone is a rare exception. Her integrity and humanity, which Sophocles describes so masterfully, makes her sympathetic to the modern reader. Oedipus might have been the hero of the male Athenian viewer (*), but I think Oedipus’ daughter Antigone is my personal hero of the stories. Let me thus conclude with a quote by Bernard Knox about my favourite character in the plays:“…her courage and steadfastness are a gleam of light; she is the embodiment of the only consolation tragedy can offer – that in certain heroic natures unmerited suffering and death can be met with a greatness of soul which, because it is purely human, brings honor to us all.” (p.53)(*)Heroes in Greek mythology were not basically good or moral persons; they could be quite the opposite. A hero could have a divine parent or being extraordinary in some other ways, he did not have to be a good man.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2018-10-23 21:19

    Oidipous epi Kolōnōi = Oedipus tyrannus coloneus and Antigone, SophoclesOedipus at Colonus (also Oedipus Coloneus, Ancient Greek: Οἰδίπους ἐπὶ Κολωνῷ, Oidipous epi Kolōnōi) is one of the three Theban plays of the Athenian tragedian Sophocles. It was written shortly before Sophocles' death in 406 BC and produced by his grandson (also called Sophocles) at the Festival of Dionysus in 401 BC.تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و ششم آگوست سال 1974 میلادیعنوان: سه نمایشنامه : اودیپوس شاه، اودیپوس در کولونوس، آنتیگون؛ مترجم: محمد سعیدی؛ زیرنظر: احسان یارشاطر؛ تهران، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب، نخستین بار سال 1334، در 196 ص؛ عنوان: افسانه های تبای؛ اثر: سوفوکلس؛ ترجمه: شاهرخ مسکوب؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، خوارزمی، 1352، در 376 ص، شابک: 9644870328؛ چاپ دوم 1356، چاپ چهارم 1385، موضوع: ادیپ، نمایشنامه، اساطیر یونان، قرن پنج پیش از میلادافسانه های تبای، اثر ماندگار ادیب مشهور یونانی (آتنی) سوفوکلس هستند. در یادداشتی کوتاه در ابتدای کتاب، چنین آمده: «نمایشنامه‌ های: «ادیپوس شهریار»، «ادیپوس در کلنوس»، و «آنتیگونه»، پیش از این با عنوانهای: «ادیپ شهریار»، «ادیپ در کلنوس»، و «آنتیگون»، جداگانه به چاپ رسیده‌ اند. این سه نمایشنامه براساس اسطوره‌ ی دودمان لابداسید ها نوشته شده، و دوره‌ ای از سرگذشت افسانه‌ ای خاندان شاهی شهر «تبای» را می‌نمایانند. موضوع هر سه نمایشنامه، به هم پیوسته، و مراحلی از پایان سرنوشت یک خانواده است. از همین‌رو این‌بار، هر سه نمایشنامه در یک مجلد، و به نام «افسانه های تبای» به چاپ می‌رسد.» پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی

  • Erin
    2018-10-05 16:09

    This Robert Fagles translation is beautiful--far superior to other versions I've read (Fitts/Fitzgerald or David Greene's, for instance). The language is vibrant and compelling, an important asset for reading drama on the page. If you've not read Sophocles since a forced-and-indifferent slog during high school, I'd encourage you to rediscover it in a better light with this translation. Highly recommended.This was my first time reading all three "Oedipus plays" in succession, and I appreciated that this volume presents them chronologically by Sophocles' date of composition rather than sequentially according to their place in the Theban myth. It's helpful to think of the three plays not as a "trilogy," but rather three separate tellings of the myth. This is how the Greek audiences would have seen them, and this arrangement also serves to better highlight Sophocles' development as a playwright.The introductory essays by Bernard Knox are also a joy to read for those who are interested, but they're by no means a requirement for the general reader. The plays will stand on their own merit, with or without the introductory material. (At the very least, though, I'd suggest reading the brief summary of the Theban myths on pp. 27-29 for background if you're not already familiar with the story.)

  • Pink
    2018-10-05 14:14

    Wonderful. I know we need to read these in modern translations, but how amazing is it that we still have works from ancient Greece? These stories are not at all boring, or dated, or difficult to read. Pick the translation that suits you, whether poetry or prose or somewhere in-between and dive into some incredible drama.

  • Julie
    2018-09-30 19:16

    Of happiness the crown and chiefest part Is wisdom, to hold the gods in awe.This is the law That, seeing the stricken heartOf pride brought down,We learn when we are old.I felt an urge to return to the stories that set my mind on fire, way down the tunnels of time, and I chose blindly, or so I thought. Enjoying them even more today than I did the first two dozen times I read them, I nonetheless wondered why these plays ... and why now? In the middle of reading half a dozen other books, I still felt restless, and kept circling the bookcases, looking for something more satisfying. If ever there was a time to read, and understand Greek tragedy, it is now, given how the latest political events are shaping our world.In a time fraught with willing blindness, much as Oedipus himself adopts an unwillingness to see the truth before him, these plays are a reminder of the dangers that can ensue when we choose not to see what is so plainly before us. The three plays combined seem to ask the same question: what is the duty of the citizen in the state: to uphold those laws imposed upon them by one man's invention, in The State, be that man ever so stubborn, or so wrong; or to listen to the heart and uphold the greater laws of Nature, and inherently, Humanity. It is a push-pull of the heart and mind and not so easily resolved as it would seem; and, because we are not gods, the right answer, The Truth, often comes too late, as it did with Creon.Is there a time, ever, in humanity, when the prophecies were heeded in time? Or are we doomed to repeat this process, to the very end of time itself. Not even Sophocles can offer an answer on that one.

  • Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
    2018-10-19 15:23

    *Note: I only read Oedipus Rex and Antigone, not Oedipus at Colonus.There is literally nothing I could tell you about these plays that you don't already know from the thousands of books and movies that have referenced or been influenced by Oedipus ever since it was first performed. Four stars for overall story and dramatic themes, two stars because I didn't find it a very engaging or enjoyable read, averaged out to a nice three. Five stars for literary importance, though.The self-fulfilling prophecy is one of my favourite plot devices, and Oedipus delivers a shockingly good one (and it's more than the fact that he bangs his mum, for those of you who haven't read it). Very complex and interesting. I also love the theme of destiny and free will (which are also explored further in Antigone). Damn, did those Greeks love to torture their heroes.

  • صهبا
    2018-10-23 20:27

    نمایشِ آنتی‌گون و بخش‌های پراکنده‌ای از دو نمایشِ دیگه رو از ترجمه‌های فارسی هم خوندم و باید بگم که بیشتر از متن انگلیسی،ازشون خوشم اومدهم به‌خاطر نثرِ تقریبا کهنی که داشت و هم متنِ انگلیسی یک جورهایی فاقدِ «لحن» بود. نثرش متعلق به قرن بیستم بود انگاربریده : تو را دوبار معذب ساخته‌اند. یک‌بار در تن و یک‌بار در جان، کاش اصلا به وجود نیامده بودی که این معما را بخوانیتو را عقیده هرچه هست،باشد اما به گمان من، سعادت آدمی در آن است که اصلا در این جهان نباشد و چون به ناچار، زندگی انسان در این عالم آغاز می‌شود، پس هرچه زودتر به فرجام رسد،بهتر است و راهی که به سرمنزل مقصود می‌رسد، هرچه سریع‌تر پیموده شود، طی آن آسان‌تر باشد...چیست که با عشق برابری تواند کرد؟ یا کیست که در جنگ با او مقهور نشود؟ کدام قدرت است که زور عشق بر او نچربد؟ در اقطار بعیده‌ی این جهان و در عرصه‌ی پهناور دریاها، عشق حاضر و موجود است. در عارض شکفته‌ی دختری که به انتظار محبوب خود نشسته‌است، آیات عشق خوانده می‌شود. جنونِ عشق گریبان‌گیرِ خدایان و آدمیان هردو می‌شود

  • Amin Dorosti
    2018-10-14 14:32

    این کتاب را سال‌ها پیش خواندم، زمانی که به روانکاوی فروید-لکانی بسیار علاقه داشتم و به خاطر نظریۀ «عقده اُدیپ» فروید سراغ این کتاب رفتم و از خواندن آن به شدت لذت بردم، به گونه‌ای که در طول یکی دو هفته هر کدام از سه نمایشنامه را چندین بار خواندم! بعدها که با نیچه آشنا شدم و ستایش او از یونان باستان و فرهنگ تراژیک یونان باستان و به ویژه نمایش‌نامه نویس‌های بزرگ آن دوران را دیدم و با تحلیل‌های نیچه از تراژدی و فرهنگ تراژیک یونان بایتان آشنا شدم بیش از پیش به ارزش واقعی این نمایش‌نامه‌ها پی بردم و دوست داشتم که بار دیگر این کتاب و البته دیگر نمایش‌نامه‌های تراژیک یونان باستان را بخوانم، باشد که این آرزو برآورده شود

  • Mana H
    2018-10-09 14:34

    کتاب را در تنهایی بدی خواندم وقتی هیچ نور امیدی نبود. در تلخی و ملال تنهایی این تراژدی‌ها زیباترند. ارسطو میگوید شفقت و ترس از ملزومات تراژدی‌ست. من ترسم ریخته بود ان روزها و شده بودم شفقت و شفقت

  • علی‌رضا میم
    2018-10-10 16:19

    کتاب خیلی عالی و فوق العاده بود.از کتابهایی که سخت میشد زمین گذاشت. متن بسیار روان بود.مضامین و مفاهیمش هم علی رغم اینکه متن حدود دوهزار سال قبل نویسانده شده، بسیار ناب و دست اولند.از سه بخش تشکیل شده کتاب.بخش اول مواجهه ادیپوس به سرنوشت و تقدیری که از آن فراری بود.بخش دوم مرگ ادیپوس و بخش سوم کشته شدن آنتیگنه.خمیر مایه اصلی داستان فرار از تقدیر انسانیهو ادیپوس پیشگویی معبد دلفی در مورد سرنوشت شوم خودش رو میدونه. و هرچه که سعی میکنه که ازش فرار کنه، ناگهان در لحظه‌ای که نفس راحتی میکشه، با کنجکاوی بسیار برای کشف راز تولد خویش باعث آشکار شدن رازی کثیف میشه.شخصیت های داستان بیش از حد مغرورند. و در قبول حقیقتی که در مقابله با اونها قرار میگیره سرسختی نشون میدند. گذشته رو بسیار سخت فراموش میکنند.با فضای داستان:ما با تقدیر مواجه میشیم. ولی نحوه ای که با اون مواجه میشیم دست خودمونه.ادیپوس به حتم اگر میدونست چنین پلیدی ها رو انجام نمیداد. و من خدایان رو در این ماجرا مقصر میدونم.بیشتر ترجیح میدم در مورد کتاب حرف بزنم تا بنویسم.با سپاس و تشکر فراوان از بانو اسماء که این کتاب خیلی خوب رو به من امانت داد:))

  • Jim
    2018-09-23 21:28

    I thoroughly enjoyed this translation of Sophocles Theban plays. Robert Fagles placed the plays in the order written, rather than in their dramatic chronology. At first I thought this was strange, but I followed his lead and read 'Antigone' first. Now, after reading Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus, I have a much greater feeling for Antigone's suffering and a much better understanding of Creon's perspective as well. Now I'm ready to re-read Antigone better armed with the facts of their respective histories.Beyond that, what can I say about Sophocles? He treats these myths with genius skills, contemporary mastery of his times and a deep understanding of his fellow Athenians. An amazing accomplishment and an important work for any serious student of drama or literature to read deeply and repeatedly.The Thug perspective:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMD18...***************2015 reread:Everything I said above and then some. The more Greek drama I read, the more I understand the sources and obsessions of western literature.

  • RavenclawReadingRoom
    2018-10-17 19:26

    Alternate title: in which everyone stabs or hangs themselves. Seriously, this book features a hell of a lot of suicide. And I get it - finding out that you've been banging your son for the past 15-20 years can't be a pleasant experience. But this just ended up feeling repetitive to me. The biggest problem with this one for me, I suspect, is that all the action in the story takes place off stage. And I totally understand why that's the case, but it means that all the reader/viewer gets is recaps of what's been happening off stage, and frankly? It dragged. Antigone was probably the most interesting of the three plays for me, but even that wasn't the most fascinating subject matter. So I appreciate them for their historical merit and value. But I won't be rereading them in a hurry.

  • Justin Evans
    2018-10-14 18:29

    So... not over-rated. Fagles' translation is solid, much clearer than his Aeschylus, though I actually prefer the opacity he brought to that text. Of course, that might have been in Aeschylus. I will never learn Greek well enough to tell. Antigone was the earliest of these plays, though the last within the narrative. I can't help but read it with my Hegel glasses on: the clash between Creon and Antigone is an example of a failed conceptual grasp of the world, in which the claims on us of family/tradition/ancient gods cannot be accommodated by our living in larger, civic communities. Divine law and human law sometimes do not go together, but only a tyrant would insist on hewing to the latter alone. Removing the Hegel glasses, I can see that Creon, to his credit, does change his mind. But this being Greece, by then it's all too late. The 'lesson', if you like, is simply that one has to exercise excellent judgment in these matters. This question of judgment works through the Oedipus plays, as well; each tyrant (Oedipus in OK, Creon in OC) fails to use good judgment; the good king Theseus does exercise it, and thus Athens rules etc etc... I know we're 'meant' to think that these plays are really about always bowing down to the gods and accepting fate, but that just doesn't square with what actually happens: Athens succeeds because of Theseus's wisdom just as much as his piety; Thebes will eventually fall because of its kings' folly just as much as their impiety. In OK, Oedipus has the chorus's support in his argument with Tiresias, because Oedipus's defeat of the Sphinx acts as proof of his regality; but when he accuses Creon without evidence, they give up on him... because by acting without evidence, he shows poor judgment. And so on. The best play for reading is easily Oedipus the King, which is horrifying and glorious in equal measure. Also, if anyone out there knows of a good book on Tiresias, let me know. As for Knox's introductory essays, they're not particularly thrilling. There's too much plot-summary (good news for freshmen, I guess), and his insights are so skewed ("these plays aren't depressing! They're about how we do have some control over our lives!") that it's hard to take him seriously. but they're still worth reading.

  • Alireza Sahafzadeh
    2018-10-08 17:36

    خیلی خوب بود انگار نه انگار از دل تاریخ بیرون آمده است و به قبل از میلاد مسیح برمیگردد هر سه نمایشنامه بر تقدیر و خرد آدمی تاکید داشتند و بحث اصلیشان بر همین دو عنصر میگشت دیالوگ ها و جملات عالی بطور سرشاری در این سه نمایشنامه یافت میشد

  • Dayla
    2018-10-15 20:13

    So, what did we learn? Circle one1. Embrace any prophecy, as fighting against it will only make it come true2. Always give way to anyone playing chicken with you on the road3. Stay in school and pay special attention to "riddles," because only smart people end up with a good career as a king 4. Don't marry the widows of any king, unless you have her DNA checked5. If you accidentally marry your mother, don't tell her because she will hang herself6. If you have two brothers, don't break the law in trying to get them both buried because if you do, eventually you will hang yourself.The feminist inside of me applauds Antigone (pronounced n-TIG-uh-nee) breaking the law, and not being afraid to admit it later--saying there is a "higher power" than the authority of the court. Favorite regular part: After Oedipus' "mother/wife" hangs herself. Oedipus seized a pin from her dress and blinded himself with it. (If it was a broach pin, that must have really hurt because those pins are huge and usually rusty.)

  • Mohsen
    2018-10-03 17:17

    دوستی از دیرباز به من آموخته بود اگر گمان بردی که مالک سرنوشت خویش شده ای نگاهی به سرنوشت های غمالوده کتاب زندگی بیاند سرنوشت ادیپ مردی شرافتمند که از قبل مرگش سرنوشتش مشخص است و والدینش که ازین جغد شوم در هراسند سعی در فرار از ان میکنند خود ادیپ هم چنین میکند ولی اخر دست چیره ی سرنوشت تمامیشان را به قهقرای زوال میکشاند و مردم تبای که ادیپ را از خود میرانند و همچون بازیچه ای، زمانی که از سرنوشت شهر خویش در هراس میافتند انها باز تلاش میکنند تا ادیپ را بازگردانند تا مگر اسودگی خاطرشان را باز بیابند اما خوشبختی از دست کسانی که در پی انند گریزان است و کرین که گمان برده که دانا است و مالک است او نیز فرجامش سیاهیست و تنها کسی که در این تراژدی پیروز است همان انتیگنه دختر مردقلب ادیپ است که سرنوشت را پزیرفته و در کنار ان کاری را که درست و شرافتمندانه میپندارد را بانجام میرساند و با دستان گره شده بر سرنوشت با ان یکی میشود

  • Z Nayebi
    2018-09-30 16:26

    به سختی به این کتاب میتوان 5 نداد. درواقع کتاب بین 4 و 5 حرکت میکند. فرازهای زیادی از کتاب و مقدمه و موخره درخشانش قطعا 5 است اما همین حرکت میان 4 و 5 و به شکل مطلق در اوج نماندن باعث میشود که در مجموع به کتاب 4 ستاره بدهم.مقدمه شاهرخ مسکوب و به خصوص موخره آندره بونار حقیقتا درخشان بودند. خواندن تراژدی ها قبل و بعد از خواندن مقاله ی بونار تفاوت های جدی ای باهم دارند. "خواندن" نیروهای متضاد هستی و درون وجود انسان از لا به لای سطور نمایشنامه های سوفوکلس شاید تا حدی توضیح دهنده کاری باشد که بونار میکند. جاهایی از مقاله بونار برای من حتی به شکل نیایشی در می آمد که وجودم را لبریز میکرد..!

  • Daniel Chaikin
    2018-10-04 21:14

    42. Sophocles I : Oedipus The King; Oedipus at Colonus; Antigone (The Complete Greek Tragedies)published: 1954 (my copy is a 33rd printing from 1989)format: 206 page Paperbackacquired: May 30 from a Half-Price Booksread: July 3-4rating: 4½ Each play had a different translator- Oedipus the King (circa 429 bce) - translated by David Grene c1942- Oedipus at Colonus (written by 406 bce, performed 401 bce) - translated by Robert Fitzgerald c1941- Antigone (by 441 bce) - translated by Elizabeth Wyckoff c1954Greek tragedy can fun. After all those rigid Aeschylus plays, that is the lesson of Sophocles. The drama within the dialogue is always dynamic, and sometimes really terrific. I had to really get in the mood to enjoy reading a play by Aeschylus, otherwise I might be bored by the long dull choral dialogues. These three plays are all different and all from different points in Sophocles career, but they each drew me on their own. Although they are all on the same story line, they were not written together, or in story order. Antigone was first, and was written when Sophocles was still trying to make a name for himself (vs Aeschylus). Oedipus the King came next, when Sophocles was well established. Oedipus at Colonus was apparently written just before Sophocles death, at about age 90. It wasn't performed until several years after his death. All this seems to show in the plays. Antigone having the sense of an author trying to make a striking impression. Oedipus the King carrying the sense of a master playwright with it's dramatic set ups. Oedipus at Colonus is slower, and more reflective. And two of the main characters are elderly. Oedipus the KingThis is simply a striking play, from the opening lines. In line 8, Oedipus characterizes himself to children suppliants as "I Oedipus who all men call the Great." It shows his confidence, but, as Thebes is in the midst of a suffering famine, it also shows outrageous arrogance - it's the only clear sing of this in the play. He is otherwise a noble character throughout. Of course he doesn't know what's coming. In the course of the play he will learn, slowly, his own tragic story - that a man he had killed in a highway fight was his father, and that his wife, and mother of his four children is also his own mother. As each person resists giving him yet another dreadful piece of information, he gets angry at them, threatening them in disbelief at their hesitancy. His denial lasts longer than that of Jocasta, his mother/wife, who leaves the play in dramatic fashion herself, first trying to stop the information flow, and then giving Oedipus a cryptic goodbye. And even as his awareness gets worse and worse, he cannot step out of character, the show-off i-do-everything-right ruler, but must continue to pursue the truth to it bitter fullness. Oedipus at ColonusA mature play in many ways. It's slow, thoughtful, has much ambiguity, and has many touching moments. The opening scene is memorable, where a blind Oedipus moves through the wilderness only with the close guidance of his daughter, Antigone. ... Who will be kind to Oedipus this eveningAnd give the wanderer charity?Though he ask little and receive still less,It is sufficient:                                          Suffering and time,Vast time, have been instructors in contentment,Which kingliness teaches too.                                          But now, child,If you can see a place we might rest,...It's interesting to see Creon, Jocasta's brother, turn bad. But it's more interesting to see Oedipus have a bitter side to him. He maintains his noble character, and that is the point of the play—he is hero because he never did anything bad intentionally, and yet he bears full punishment. But he also makes some interesting calls, essentially setting up a future war between his Thebes and Athens. And, Antigone is striking too. She saves Oedipus critically several times through her advice or her speech. While sacrificing herself and maintaining real affection for Oedipus, she is also shrewd, stepping forward boldly and changing the atmosphere. AntigoneThis play takes place immediately after what Aeschylus covered in The Seven Against Thebes. Polyneices has attacked Thebes with his Argive army, and been repulsed by his brother Eteocles. Both are sons of Oedipus and they have killed each other in the battle. Creon is now ruler. He is a stiff ruler. Despite much warning, he refuses to listen to popular opinion, instead threatening it to silence (a clear political point is being made). But the problems start when he refuses to give his attacker Polyneices a proper burial. He threatens death on anyone who does try to bury him. Antigone openly defies this rule, setting up the play's drama. It's an extreme tragedy with a hamlet-like ending where practically everyone dies. I felt there was less here than in the other two plays, but yet there is still a lot. And it's still fun. OverallI don't imagine citizens of Thebes liked these plays. There is an unspoken sense of noble Athen poking fun its neighbor throughout. But, as it's not Athens, they give the playwright freedom to work in otherwise dangerous political points - and those are clearly there. But, mostly, these were fun plays. They don't need to be read as a trilogy. They were not meant that way, despite the plot-consistency. Each is independent. There are four more plays by Sophocles. I'm actually going to save them and start Euripides next. Because I think Sophocles is something to look forward to and that might push me through the next bunch.

  • Steve
    2018-09-24 19:07

    These plays are world class literature. I originally read them a long time back (during an early "Classics" phase), and liked them well enough, though at the time I was sort of checking off boxes of Books-I-Must-Read. Reading these now, later in life, they have much more impact. I'm sure an additional boost came via Fagles' potent translations. An added plus are the outstanding introductions preceding each play, which create necessary historical and literary contexts to further enhance the plays. Also, Fagles orders the plays within the cycle in an order that follows their composition rather than the linear ordering found in other translations. This fascinating arc, to my mind, deepens our understanding of the characters and their motivations. Fagles also notes that this ordering reflects Sophocles' evolving sense of tragedy. I don't know about that, but such a reading approach certainly heightens the poignancy of "Oedipus at Colonus," which in the traditional ordering ("Oedipus the King," "Oedipus at Colonus," "Antigone") seems the most static of the three plays. With Fagles' ordering ("Antigone," "Oedipus the King," "Oedipus at Colonus"), you experience some serious (and enjoyable) literary jujitsu. The last events in the cycle now become the first. Sophocles, by composing the plays the way he did, creates something along the lines of a Greek Rashomon, with new revelations, as viewpoints shift, about characters and their motivations. Such an approach creates a greater bond between the three plays, transforming them into a surprisingly modernist whole.

  • Akemi G
    2018-10-04 14:08

    As always, I am torn among the many translations. I have this Penguin edition, translated by Robert Fagles (1982), and the older (1949) translation by Dudley Fitts & Robert Fitzgerald. Fagles' translation reads well, but so does Fitzgerald's. Fitzgerald breaks down the play to scenes, which I like--even though these are short plays, I find Fagles' no-break translation rather tiresome. (I have no idea which style is more faithful to the ancient Greek original.) Sometimes the two translations are so quite different that I wonder if they come from the same original (perhaps there are variations?) Here is the same speech by Antigone:FitzgeraldI dared.It was not God's proclamation. That final JusticeThat rules the world below makes no such laws.Your edict, King, was strong,But all your strength is weakness itself againstThe immortal unrecorded laws of God.They are not merely now: they were, and shall be,Operative for ever, beyond man utterly.I knew I must die, even without your decree:I am only mortal. And if I must dieNow, before it is my time to die, Surely this is no hardship: can anyoneLiving, as I live, with evil all about me,Think Death less than a friend? ...FaglesOf course I did. It wasn't Zeus, not in the least,who made this proclamation--not to me.Nor did that Justice, dwelling with the godsbeneath the earth, ordain such laws for men. Nor did I think your edict had such forcethat you, a mere mortal, could override the gods,the great unwritten, unshakable traditions.They are alive, not just today or yesterday:they live forever, from the first of time,and no one knows when they first saw the light.These laws--I was not about to break them,not out of fear of some man's wounded pride,and face the retribution of the gods. Die I must, I've known it all my life--how could I keep from knowing?--even withoutyour death-sentence ringing in my ears. And if I am to die before my timeI consider that a gain. Who on earth,alive in the midst of so much grief as I,could fail to find his death a rich reward? ... As you see, Fagles tends to be wordy. And where did the line "not out of fear of some man's wounded pride" come from? (I sorta like it, however. Ah, the two equally proud characters--Antigone and Creon. I can see both sides' points.) These plays were offered at Dionysia events to honor Dionysus, the god of joy and entertainment. I find it interesting that tragedies were the main part of this theatrical event. Apparently, ancient Greeks knew the positive, cleansing effect of a good cry.

  • Sincerae
    2018-09-27 16:35

    I had to read Antigone, the third play in The Oedipus Cycle, in the 9th or 10th grade. The teacher filled us in about the occurrences in Oedipus Rex, but our starting point was only with Antigone. My memory fails to recall which grade exactly, but I certainly remember how my English teacher made it deathly boring. I can't remember which teacher, but it still clings to my memory his or her words about Oedipus' "fatal flaw." This was repeated over and over I guess to sound like an expert. One of the fatal flaws for me in studying Sophocles' masterpieces was to present the last of the trilogy in the very dry teaching mode of my teacher. Great literature was ruined. I couldn't for the life of me at the time believe what the teacher was saying that Antigone was classic literature. I was squirming in the seat reading it and hating every class lecture, reading, and discussion. I don't know if reading the entire Oedipus Cycle at the time would have helped me to have a different view or not. Thirty years later I have evolved in taste. It started happening in the 12th grade. It takes a special teacher to know how to bring alive antique and ancient literature, and Mr. Harwood did with Hamlet in his advanced English class. Following a school year in his class, even sitting through the classes of stodgy old English professors in college wasn't so bad after 12th grade English, but it took me three decades to come back to Sophocles, and I'm very happy I did. I should have come back sooner since my used copy has been on the shelf at least 20 years. This is a marvelous translation. The language runs smooth and elegantly. The drama and the desire to know what will happen next made this a page turner for me. 2500 years later The Oedipus Cycle holds up very well. Although this is Greek tragedy there are a few flashes of humor, especially in Antigone. This translation includes a commentary following Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone and also an index of names.

  • Alan
    2018-10-12 20:30

    Star missing because I don't know Greek, and this translation is older than I am. I read Antigone in trans as a college freshman, taught Oedipus a couple dozen times, always applicable to the current epidemic--AIDS/ HIV, or whatever, first scene, citizens prostrate before the ruler who brought on the disaster, unbenownst. NOW we have a BENOWNST disaster-bringer to prostrate ourselves before--the Swamp-Drainer with his Cabinet of Swamp Monsters. And the Congress, the Full Swamp, has just eliminated the non-partisan Ethics Committee, made it part of the partisan Congressional Ethics, as my physician friend has said, "Didn't take 'em long to hook up the sewer system to the swamp." But I still don't know what to think of reading lit in trans., which I usually avoid. Just haven't committed to learn ancient Greek. I've read a bit of Seneca's Oedipus, but.. And here's a translation from 1939. Classic, but not classical, what?

  • Sofia T. (♥ Dimitri Belikov)
    2018-10-10 15:30

    Read for University!

  • Trish
    2018-10-21 22:09

    I was surprised I didn't like this as well as the others, simply because it was more elegant in style and therefore marginally harder to read for meaning. Antigone didn't come across on a quick read with the raw spirit I perceived in the other plays. What I did love about this translation: the lessons taught to Creon by Tiresius and even by his own son Haemon were so elegant and expansive:"It's no disgrace for a man, even a wise man, to learn many things and not to be too rigid.You've seen trees by a raging winter torrent,how many sway with the flood and salvage every twig, but not the stubborn--they're ripped out, roots and all.Bend or break."The Chinese have a similar saying. It's good advice to anyone, though one recognizes there is a difference between stubbornness and enlightened principle, which should not be comprised with easy solutions.I loved Haemon telling his father: "What a splendid king you'd make of a desert island--you and yourself alone." Later, Tiresius tries again to warm Creon, "Take these things to heart, my son, I warn you...Stubbornness brands you for stupidity--pride is a crime. No, yield to the dead! Never stab a fighter when he's down. Where's the glory, killing the dead twice over?"And the Chorus at the end, telling us "Wisdom is by far the greatest part of joy,and reverence toward the gods must be safeguarded.The mighty words of the proud are paid in fullwith mighty blows of fate, and at long lastthose blows will teach us wisdom." We'll learn it easy or learn it hard, but wisdom comes. At what price?This edition tells us slightly more about why Creon hates Polynices but not why Polynices did what he did. Polynices returned to Thebes "consumed with one desire--to burn them roof to roots..." while his brother Eteocles is "crowned with a hero's honors." This play is so brilliant, it is difficult to imagine someone could ruin it. This translation by Robert Fagles is masterly in the old style, and the Introduction and Notes are authored by Bernard Knox. Did not read the other plays at this time.

  • Manab
    2018-09-26 21:08

    পড়লাম। উদ্বেলের উদ্রেক ঘটতেছে না ভেতরে। আমি বোধহয় ভাবছিলাম যে থিবিয়ান নাটক তিনটা পড়লে বোমা ফাটবে মগজের কোণায় কোণায়।সেরকম কিছু হচ্ছে না। উল্টা বইটার দিকে আমি খুবই ভাবলেশহীন হয়ে তাকায়ে আছি।দ্বিতীয় নাটকে ত নাড়া দেয়া ত নাড়া দেয়া, একটা হাওয়াও বইলো না। ক্লাশের পেছনের দরজা দিয়ে বড় পোলা ঢুকলো, সামনের দরজা দিয়ে সটান বের হয়ে গেলো। ছোটো ছেলেরেও পাওয়া গেলে মন্দ হইত না, অন্য নাটকে হয়ত সে ছিলোও, সেই নাটকগুলো ত হারায়ে গেছে ইতোমধ্যে। এই মলাটবদ্ধকরণটা প্রচণ্ড বাজে হইছে, মানে যতই আপনি ভূমিকায় চেচান যে এরা তিনটা ভিন্ন ত্রিপিটকের নাটক, কতবার আর মনে থাকে সেই কথা। তিনটা নাটকই সঙ্গীর অভাবে কেমন ছন্নছাড়া - অনুবাদ খারাপ হয় নাই, খুব ভালোও না, একটু শুষ্ক, কিন্তু আসল সমস্যা হয় যে এক নম্বরে নাটকগুলি ঐ কোরাসে নিঃসঙ্গতায় ভোগে, আর দ্বিতীয়ত, যথেষ্ট ঘটনা নাই প্রথম দুইটায়। মানে অয়দিপাঊষ তার মায়ের সাথে না হয় এইটা ঐটা করলোই, কিন্তু তার ত কোনো অভিলাষ ছিলো না, হ্যাঁ, তার জন্য থিবিস পুড়লো, কিন্তু কত রাজার দোষেই ত কত শহর পুড়ে। এর চেয়ে হ্যামলেট কত ভালো, মায়ের প্রতি কিছু একটা আছে - মনে হয়, তার জন্যই ত ডেনমার্ক পুড়লো - মনে হয়!তিন নম্বরটা বেশ ভালো সেই তুলনায়, মানে এটার সাথে আমি, একজন আধুনিক পাঠক (মানে আজকের পাঠক আর কী) এক ধরনের সাযুজ্য অনুভব করতেছি, এই বা কম কী। এই যে, অ্যাণ্টিগনির সমস্যা, ক্রেওনের পাকনামি, এইগুলা হচ্ছে আমার কাছে সামাজিক সমস্যা, রাজনৈতিক ভণ্ডুল। এইটা আমার কাছে একটা ট্রাজেডি বরং, অয়দিপাঊষেরটা আমার কাছে একটা কানাগলি-মতন, অমন ঘটলে কারো সাথে, ঐটার সমাধান খুঁজতে খুঁজতে পাগল হয়ে যাওয়াটা বরং একটা কমেডির উপাদান হইতে পারে।সব মিলায়ে, প্রথমটা দূরবর্তী, দ্বিতীয়টা ফেলনা, তৃতীয়টা বেশ ভালো মনে হইছে। আরিস্ততলের সাথে দ্বিমত পোষণ করতেছি, নিজেরে আস্ত বেদপও মনে হচ্ছে এছাড়াও। যদিও, আরিস্ততলের কত কথাই ত অতলেরও নীচে চলে গেছে এই কয় বছরে। মাত্র বছর হাজার দুই -

  • Babak Ghadiri
    2018-09-25 21:18

    آن شاعر بزرگ از زبان خدایان فقط می‌گوید «بجویید تا بیابید» همین و بس.-شاهرخ مسکوب

  • Edward Waters
    2018-10-04 19:26

    Most English translations of, say, the Greek New Testament are shepherded by a conviction that the original words had divine inspiration and so are best rendered verbatim wherever possible. At the same time, there generally is a concession (for good or ill) to the reality that if what results is not sufficiently lofty and reverential in tone, the faithful are unlikely to accept it. Attempts at classical Greek drama and poetry tend to be guided by rather different considerations: The translator's audience may consist of fellow scholars, reluctant undergraduate students, or an adventurous minority of the general public; and each of these groups will have particular demands. Too often work thus emerges which is precise but lifeless, or loosely interpreted to conform to the structures of 19th-century-style Anglo-American poetry, or so liberally seasoned with present-day colloquialisms as to jar the reader repeatedly out of the proper period and setting.For the most part, Paul Roche navigates skilfully through these hazards in trying his hand at Sophocles's Oedipus trilogy, and has produced a rendition that is readable, yet preserves classical distinctiveness. Once or twice in the first play a turn of phrase does feel awkwardly modern, but such flashes are rare and soon either disappear or blend into the overall arc of the stories. That Roche is himself a poet clearly enriched the labour, and his reflections, in the Introduction, on the essence of poetry and the challenge of its transmission across lines of language, era, and culture border on the profound. '... Poetry lies somewhere between meaning and music, sense and sound ...,' he writes; and in this region he attempts to set Sophocles's work. He echoes the meter of the original without imitating it exactly, and preserves more of the Greek dramatic structure (complete with `strophes' and `antistrophes') than do many other translations available. Yet Roche remains mindful that this is also a PLAY, and manages the formalized dialogue with an eye (or ear) to the possibility of his version itself turning up on stage. He also provides an afterword outlining principles to guide such performance.The reader of this translation whose only prior encounter with the Oedipus legend was some now-vaguely-remembered lesson in school, or perhaps Edith Hamilton's summary, may be surprised at how effectively one is drawn in. Roche, like Sophocles before him, succeeds in bringing the remote and legendary close enough to touch, while allowing it to remain sufficiently mysterious to stir the imagination.

  • rachel • typed truths
    2018-10-07 21:10

    Oedipus Rex was the only play I read out of this anthology of Sophoclean tragedies. It was surprisingly quite amusing. I thought it would be more... well, tragic really. The ugly sobbing kind of tragedy - Titanic style. But instead it read like a soap opera. The drama scale was beyond imaginable. We had people dying and crying left, right and centre. It was fantastic!The writing was good too. It had the feel of a ancient Shakespearean play but was much more "readable". There was no need to have a dictionary sitting on your lap as you read it. The wording was sophisticated but got the point across clearly at the same time. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to get a better understanding of plays - this one is supposedly the best tragedy ever written - or wants to know more about ancient Greek literature.