The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus

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Overview

Towering over the rest of Greek tragedy, Sophocles' The Three Theban Plays are among the most enduring and timeless dramas ever written. This Penguin Classics edition is translated by Robert Fagles with introductions and notes by Bernard Knox. Collected here are Antigone, Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus, in a translation by Robert Fagles which retains all of Sophocles' lucidity and power: the cut and thrust of his dialogue, his ironic edge, the surge and majesty of his choruses and, above all, the agonies...

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The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus

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Overview

Towering over the rest of Greek tragedy, Sophocles' The Three Theban Plays are among the most enduring and timeless dramas ever written. This Penguin Classics edition is translated by Robert Fagles with introductions and notes by Bernard Knox. Collected here are Antigone, Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus, in a translation by Robert Fagles which retains all of Sophocles' lucidity and power: the cut and thrust of his dialogue, his ironic edge, the surge and majesty of his choruses and, above all, the agonies and triumphs of his characters. Oedipus in exile, searching for his identity, desperately trying to avoid his fate, seeking the truth of his origins and achieving immortality; his daughter, Antigone, defending her integrity and ideals to the death - these heroic, tragic figures have captivated theatregoers and readers since the fifth century BC. It is Sophocles' characterisation of Oedipus that would, in the nineteenth century, inspire Sigmund Freud to a revolutionary conception of the human mind, and the tragedies in this volume continue to move and inspire us to this day. Sophocles (496-405 BC) was born at Colonus, just outside Athens. His long life spanned the rise and decline of the Athenian Empire; he was a friend of Pericles, and though not an active politician he held several public offices, both military and civil. The leader of a literary circle and friend of Herodotus, Sophocles wrote over a hundred plays, drawing on a wide and varied range of themes, and winning the City Dionysia eighteen times; though only seven of his tragedies have survived, among them Antigone, Oedipus Rex, Ajax and Oedipus at Colonus. If you enjoyed The Three Theban Plays, you might like Aeschylus' The Oresteia, also available in Penguin Classics. 'I know of no better English version' Sir Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Oxford University 'The most impressive verse translations of Sophocles that have been made' Stephen Spender

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140444254
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/1984
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 41,981
  • Product dimensions: 5.04 (w) x 7.64 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Sophocles was born in 496 BC. His long life spanned the rise and decline of the Athenian Empire. He wrote over a hundred plays, many of which are published as Penguin Classics, drawing on a wide and varied range of themes. E.F. Watling translated a range of Greek and Roman plays for Penguin, including the seven plays of Sophocles and the tragedies of Seneca.

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Table of Contents

The Three Theban Plays - Sophocles Translated by Robert Fagles with Introductions and Notes by Bernard Knox

Acknowledgments
Translator's Preface
Greece and the Theater

SOPHOCLES: THE THREE THEBAN PLAYSIntroduction to Antigone
Antigone

Introduction to Oedipus the King
Oedipus the King

Introduction to Oedipus at Colonus
Oedipus at Colonus

A Note on the Text of Sophocles
Textual Variants
Notes on the Translation: Antigone, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus
Select Bibliography
The Genealogy of Oedipus
Glossary

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2000

    The book teaches you alot about tragedy and how to live through your destiny.

    I read this book for a classic myth class, I learned that excessive pride can make you try to defeat your destiny and that there is a higher power that is always looking after you. Your destiny good or bad will happen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2010

    Antigone The Everlasting

    The Three Theban Plays are Greek tragedies that have remained in English literature for centuries after they were published. What is the reason for this everlasting existence of these pieces? The way that Sophocles presents his prose is beautiful, just like Shakespeare's stunning style of writing. No one in the 21st century will ever write like these literary geniuses. However, many people will not disagree on the fact that Sophocles' writing is abstract. Despite Sophocles' conceptual writing style, the Robert Fagles version of Antigone is a modern English edition that can be understood by 9th graders and above. This tragedy should be a must-read for everyone in high school because Antigone highlights important themes such as civil disobedience, hubris, atë, conscience versus law, etc.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2008

    Like all Greek plays

    Just like all Greek plays, these three are all excellent. I especially like Oedipus the King, but all are great. These plays bring you back to a time that is probably difficult for people of today to understand, but it is still intriguing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2005

    Great Read

    If you like Greek literature this is a good choice for you. Robert Fagles again does a great job of translating an ancient tale. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2004

    The unique Greek Drama, that seems like something off of Jerry Springer

    The Oedipus cycle is a greek tragedy, with elements of love, death, and it has comic relief. Probably the most entertaining Greek play, and it adresses many themes, and motifs. note that the chorus is used to tell what the average citizen is thinking, adn to provide historical significance

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