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Oedipus Rex
     

Oedipus Rex

3.6 22
by Sophocles
 

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Oedipus Rex is the greatest of the Greek tragedies, a profound meditation on the human condition. The story of the mythological king, who is doomed to kill his father and marry his mother, has resonated in world culture for almost 2,500 years. But Sophocles’ drama as originally performed was much more than a great story—it was a superb poetic

Overview

Oedipus Rex is the greatest of the Greek tragedies, a profound meditation on the human condition. The story of the mythological king, who is doomed to kill his father and marry his mother, has resonated in world culture for almost 2,500 years. But Sophocles’ drama as originally performed was much more than a great story—it was a superb poetic script and exciting theatrical experience. The actors spoke in pulsing rhythms with hypnotic forward momentum, making it hard for audiences to look away. Interspersed among the verbal rants and duels were energetic songs performed by the chorus.

            David Mulroy’s brilliant verse translation of Oedipus Rex recaptures the aesthetic power of Sophocles’ masterpiece while also achieving a highly accurate translation in clear, contemporary English. Speeches are rendered with the same kind of regular iambic rhythm that gave the Sophoclean originals their drive. The choral parts are translated as fluid rhymed songs. Mulroy also supplies an introduction, notes, and appendixes to provide helpful context for general readers and students.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A great work of world literature has at last become a great poem in English. Mulroy’s translation is far superior to other available English verse translations.”—Robert J. Rabel, editor of Approaches to Homer, Ancient and Modern

“Introductory notes on such matters as the historical background, fate vs. free will, and (inevitably) the Oedipus Complex are clear and useful.”—Peter Green, The New York Review of Books

Library Journal - BookSmack!
Mulroy (classics, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee) gives Sophocles's standard a crisp update, morphing it into contemporary English while retaining the Greek rhythms, etc. He also supplies an intro, appendixes, and notes to guide readers. Students of every level eventually have to tackle this. Appropriate for public and academic libraries. For a true taste of classic drama, Greece is the word, baby! — "Classic Returns," Booksmack! 2/3/11.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299282530
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
05/19/2011
Series:
Wisconsin Studies in Classics
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
109
Sales rank:
589,538
File size:
1 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Sophocles(ca. 497/6–407/6 BCE) was the most acclaimed dramatist of his era, winning more than twenty festival competitions in ancient Athens. He is believed to have written 123 plays, but only seven have survived in a complete form. David Mulroy is professor of classics at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He has translated The Complete Poetry of Catullus, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

 

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Oedipus Rex 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oedipus Rex This book was a strange story featuring abundant dramatic irony, or irony the reader sees but not the characters. The book featured suspense, plot twists, and a relatively immersive story line. It was well written, and is a classic to this day. It did deal with issues such as murder and incest which might turn some readers away, but overall it was a decent read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a 13 year old, and although the tanslation has a broad vocabulary, by reading it carefully I understood it- to be a fantastic Greek play, which I highly recommend. It's the ultimate 'soap-opera'/play, complete with incest, murder, suicide, self mutilation, exile, and war.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oedipus Rex is one of the most interesting plays, I have read in my AP English class. This was very sad, and it showed a lot of Dramatic Irony.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TaniyaB More than 1 year ago
Oedipus Rex is an extremely interesting play that is impacted with intense emotions and actions, especially due to Oedipus’ tragic flaws that are a part of his hamartia. Sophocles’ play is about a young man Oedipus who is the king of Thebes. In the opening of his play, he looks over his people who are suffering from a plague. A priest informs him that this terrible event is occurring in their city-state because no one avenged the previous king’s death nor did they find his murderer. Oedipus, illustrating the qualities of a loyal and active king, vows to find the person who murdered King Laius, the previous king, and punish him for his sins. Little does he know that he is the murderer of King Laius, and his son, as well. When the dramatic irony intensifies, the audience realizes that Oedipus does not know of his true origins nor the prophecy that has led him to present day. It should be no surprise to the audience that Oedipus will eventually lead himself to his own downfall. However, it is the pathway to this final point that is interesting to analyze. The writing style, since this play is an old text, is difficult to comprehend with but not impossible.  The diction and tone surely help the plot move forward, as it hints of Oedipus’ downfall throughout the play. The theme, in my opinion, is that one cannot avoid or change the fate that he or she is destined to follow. He or she must cope with what the future has in store.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im 12 and reading a great level of grades above mine and thoght this was a verey great play. I would recomend it also. But i also have to defend oedipus, i mean he tried to run from it but in the end fate wins over hope, he kills his father and marrys his mother.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a very good novel that i enjoyed reading and i couldn't put it down. And that means it was GOOD!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It may seem sick for a man to kill his father and marry his mother, but this novel is a work of art by Sophocles. Read it and discuss it with more than one person. Great School material.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What are the odds? That's all I can say about Oedipus. He is a victim of bad fate. I feel bad for the guy. It's kind of hard to understand the language of the text, but if you pay close attention, it is a work of art. I suggest reading it twice in case you missed something when you read the first time. Or discuss it.