The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles: Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus; Antigone

The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles: Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus; Antigone


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780452011670
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/28/1996
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 138,770
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sophocles was born at Colonus, just outside Athens, in 496 BC, and lived ninety years. 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, he was interested in poetic theory as well as practice, and he wrote a prose treatise On the Chorus. He seems to have been content to spend all his life at Athens, and is said to have refused several invitations to royal courts.

Sophocles first won a prize for tragic drama in 468, defeating the veteran Aeschylus. He wrote over a hundred plays for the Athenian theater, and is said to have come first in twenty-four contests. Only seven of his tragedies are now extant, these being Ajax, Antigone, Oedipus the King, Women of Trachis, Electra, Philoctetes, and the posthumous Oedipus at Colonus. A substantial part of The Searches, a satyr play, was recovered from papyri in Egypt in modern times. Fragments of other plays remain, showing that he drew on a wide range of themes; he also introduced the innovation of a third actor in his tragedies. He died in 406 BC.

Paul Roche, a distinguished English poet and translator, is the author of The Bible’s Greatest Stories. His other translations include Euripides: Ten Plays, Oedipus Plays of Sophocles, and The Orestes Plays of Aeschylus.

Table of Contents

FOREWORD: The Great Encounter
INTRODUCTION: The Theban Trilogy

Oedipus the King
Oedipus at Colonus


Production and Acting
Glossary of Classical Names


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Oedipus Plays of Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
ncgraham on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The name of Oedipus the King (Oedipus Tyrannos or Oedipus Rex, if you prefer) is nearly synonymous with the idea of Greek tragedy, and maybe with the idea of tragic drama in general. Aristotle referenced it in his Poetics, as (of course) did Freud in his writings. Reading it today, it seems both very ancient and very new, outlandish and yet relevant. I found it immensely gripping, and fascinating in its juxtaposition of fate and human action, sight and blindness, intention and guilt.I was assigned the play in two separate classes this semester, along with Antigone in one of them. I decided to go above and beyond by reading all of the plays, including Oedipus at Colonus, and I'm very glad I did. Although this often-skipped middle work is not as dramatically potent as the other two plays, Sophocles¿ use of language is (as others have remarked) even more mature and lyrical than it was before. Also, one really read the three together not because there elements are perfectly cohesive¿they aren¿t¿but because it is only then that the modern reader can understand the full scale of the Theban tragedy, something the Ancient Greeks would have known about going in.Despite the popularity of Oedipus the King and the maturity of Oedipus at Colonus, most everyone I¿ve talked to seems to likeAntigone best. I can understand why. It is the most varied of the plays, incorporating a little humor and romance, as well as the usual tragic elements. I think Antigone and Haemon are the first truly sympathetic characters in the cycle, which makes their downfall all the more heartrending.Paul Roche¿s translation is easy to read and modern in tone¿almost too modern, to tell the truth. There is an almost Hemingway-like disregard of punctuation at times (¿What another summons?¿ should read ¿What? Another summons?¿) not to mention one of the most inane contractions I¿ve ever seen (¿what¿re¿). Still, these are minor blemishes, and the sheer readability of Roche's rendering is a definite aid in understanding these ancient tragedies.Scholars have been discussing and debating these plays for literally centuries. I feel I¿ve only scratched the surface of them, and can easily see myself coming back to them in the future.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a 15 yr.old student at ECHS in San Diego CA and we had to read this book in our world history class. This book was sad and disgusting all in one and was perfect for my 10th grade class. The story of Oedipus, the king of Thebes describes the 'perfect Greek tragedy.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles is a great book. I am now a Freshman at C.H.S, and my teacher Mr.Maiore gave us this play to read. We tear this book to pieces and find out every detail. I know that people dont like long and boring stories/plays/ and books. But this one is so simple if you just pay attention and follow it.Once you know what is going on in this book you will love it. Cause I know that I did.