Sophokles: The Complete Plays

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The seven tragedies of Sophokles (c. 496-406 B.C.E.)--Aias, Antigone, The Women of Trachis, Oedipus Tyrannos, Elecktra, Philoktetes, and Oedipus at Kolonos--continue to move audiences and readers with their powerful characterizations, language, emotions, and dramatic moments. These contemporary English translations by two professors of theater at UCLA bring Sophokles dramatically to life and serve to enhance our appreciation of the timelessness of his works. Brief summaries of the plays accompany an essay on the Athenian theater and a glossary. This valuable addition to literature and drama collections is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.--Howard Miller, St. Louis Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Mueller (theater, UCLA, and translator of plays in German and Italian as well as classical languages) and Krajewska-Wieczorek (theater, UCLA, she's trained in classical philology) have created new translations of the plays in readable and compelling language, with the addition of occasional stage directions. Mueller's introduction describes Sophokles' Athens, the playwright, Greek theater and its customs, and provides a synopsis for each play, making this an ideal text for undergraduates. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575252650
  • Publisher: Smith & Kraus, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2000
  • Series: Great Translations for Actors Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 479
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Sophokles and the Athenian Theater 1
The Plays 14
A Note on the Translation 40
Aias 45
Antigone 103
The Women of Trachis 153
Oedipus Tyrannos 207
Elektra 269
Philoktetes 325
Oedipus at Kolonos 385
Appendix 456
Glossary 466
Selected Bibliography 478
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Sophoklean tragedy represents a monumental theatrical and interpretative challenge. It is one of the great and enduring glories of ancient Athenian civilization. By the fifth century B.C.E., that city-state had already invented and consolidated the system of government it called democracy, a system of justice based on trial by jury, and the novel cultural practice that came to be known as theater. It now embarked upon a period of the most extraordinary achievement in virtually every field of human endeavor and, through patronage of the arts, reached unparalleled heights in philosophical inquiry, sculpture, architecture, and poetry. Nowhere are these achievements better represented than in the Tragedies of Sophokles. The sweeping, coruscating poetic expanse of his choral odes; the swift, piercing agonistic exchanges; the sudden moment of reversal or of luminous transcendence; the power and the subtlety of characterization; the unerring mastery of dramatic moment, of ironic aperture; it is our tragedy that only seven of his Tragedies and some fragmentary Satyr plays are all that remain of his life's work.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2001

    A Chorus of Approval

    This series of translations is a director's and teacher's dream: its integrity lies in both its theatricality and scholarship. I recently directed a production of Antigone using this text, and it received the highest praise from the actors and audience members alike. One actor exclaimed during a rehearsal, 'I keep telling everyone that I'm in Antigone, and they roll their eyes and say, 'Oh, how boring'. I don't know what they're talking about. This play is great.' I heard another student leave the theater saying, 'Wow. I wish we'd read that translation in class. That was so much better than the one we read.' From my perspective as a director, I'd say that this translation made my life much easier. The poetry is eloquent as well as playable. The language itself guided my actors through their roles. Plus, with every other translation I read in search of the right one to produce, I found myself afraid of the Chorus. As soon as I picked up this translation, I understood the Chorus for the first time. It literally sang itself off the page.

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