The Oresteia

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Overview

In the Oresteia -- the only trilogy in Greek drama that survives from antiquity -- Aeschylus took as his subject the bloody chain of murder and revenge within the royal family of Argos. As they move from darkness to light, from rage to self-governance, from primitive ritual to civilized institution, their spirit of struggle and regeneration becomes an everlasting song of celebration.
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The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The Libation Bearers; The Eumenides

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Overview

In the Oresteia -- the only trilogy in Greek drama that survives from antiquity -- Aeschylus took as his subject the bloody chain of murder and revenge within the royal family of Argos. As they move from darkness to light, from rage to self-governance, from primitive ritual to civilized institution, their spirit of struggle and regeneration becomes an everlasting song of celebration.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These two new additions to Oxford's "Greek Tragedy in New Translations" series only add to the luster of the previous releases. Each is firmly packed with insightful introductions, comprehensive and numbered notes, glossaries, and up-to-date bibliographies (the plays' texts take up about half of each volume). The collaboration of poet and scholar in each volume produces a language that is easy to read and easy to speak (compare, for instance, the Watchman's first lines in Shapiro and Burian's Agamemnon with those in Lattimore's 1947 translation). Each volume's introduction presents the play's action and themes with some detail. The translators' notes describe the linguistic twists and turns involved in rendering the text into a modern poetic language. Both volumes are enthusiastically recommended for academic libraries, theater groups, and theater departments.-Larry Schwartz, Minnesota State Univ., Moorhead Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Booknews
Translators Grene and O'Flaherty present a modern translation of the three plays composing the Oresteia and, with the assistance of director Nicholas Rudall, an abridged stage adaptation which transforms the Oresteia into an effective modern stage play. Includes introductory material. Cloth edition ($32.50). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Kirkus Reviews
Though it's tempting to imagine the late English poet laureate's long tortured relationship with the image of (his wife) feminist heroine Sylvia Plath as its subtext, this vivid free-verse translation of Aeschylus' dark and bloody tragic trilogy (comprising Agamemnon, Choephori, and Eumenides) more properly evinces Hughes's wide range of interests and mastery of classic literatures. His nearly conversational rhythms produce an arresting mixture of colloquialism and formality, enlivened by strong imagery (as in the matricidal Orestes' declaration that "This house has been the goblet / That the demon of homicide, unquenchable, / Has loved to drain"), and only infrequently weakened by astonishing woodenness—as in Clytemnestra's cool reply to the Chorus who lament her murder of her husband: "You think I'm an irresponsible woman? / You are making a mistake"). Perhaps not the ultimate "acting edition" it claims to be, but, still, an essential further installment in the always interesting oeuvre of a gifted poet who was also a diligent scholar.
From the Publisher
"A wonderful collaboration of scholar and poet...vividly responsive to the variety and power of Aeschylus' writing.... A great achievement."—David Ferry, poet and translator, and author of Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations

"Enthusiastically recommended...produces a language that is easy to read and easy to speak."—Library Journal [starred review]

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781854591739
  • Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Series: Drama Classics Series
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Hugh Lloyd-Jones was Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Oxford and author of, among many titles, The Justice of Zeus (California, 1971).

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Table of Contents

Foreword 7
Acknowledgements 11
A Reading of 'The Oresteia': The Serpent and the Eagle 13
Agamemnon 99
The Libation Bearers 173
The Eumenides 227
The Genealogy of Orestes 279
Select Bibliography 281
Notes 285
Agamemnon 285
The Libation Bearers 305
The Eumenides 317
Glossary 331
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Customer Reviews

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