The Theban Plays: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone

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Overview

Sophocles’ Theban Plays— Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone—lie at the core of the Western literary canon. They are extensively translated, universally taught, and frequently performed. Chronicling the downfall of Oedipus, the legendary king of Thebes, and his descendants, the Theban Plays are as relevant to present-day thought about love, duty, patriotism, family, and war as when they were written 2,500 years ago.

Recent translations of the plays, while ...

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The Theban Plays: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone

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Overview

Sophocles’ Theban Plays— Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone—lie at the core of the Western literary canon. They are extensively translated, universally taught, and frequently performed. Chronicling the downfall of Oedipus, the legendary king of Thebes, and his descendants, the Theban Plays are as relevant to present-day thought about love, duty, patriotism, family, and war as when they were written 2,500 years ago.

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.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Mouseion: Journal of Classical Association of Canada - Brad Levett
These graceful translations are quite appealing.
Mouseion: Journal of Classical Association of Canada
These graceful translations are quite appealing.

— Brad Levett

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Product Details

Meet the Author

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.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2000

    Good book that presented Good plays

    This book presented good plays, especially the play, Antigone, which was my favorite. Even though it can be hard to read, it is worth it. Antigone is a play about a greek woman,who stands up for the laws of Heaven instead of the laws of man, including King Creon, who ends up basically killing her. Antigone is very bold and stands up for her beliefs. She does not fit the Greek image of a woman because she is so bold and is independent(in whom is running her life), and her boldness leads to her downfall. Although, she does weaken up at the end, she still goes down with her same opion. These plays were very good and taught lessons that happen in even modern life situations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2000

    The Three Best Plays of All Time

    The Theban Plays are some of the most exciting plays which i have ever read. They are always interesting and you shall never get bored. Through this trilogy, you will learn many things about Greek plays, especially from one of the greatest philosophers of all time. I Highly recommend this book to all.

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