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The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles
Revising and updating his classic 1958 translation, Paul Roche captures the dramatic power and intensity of Sophocles' great Theban trilogy. In vivid, poetic language, he presents the timeless story of a noble family moving toward catastrophe, dragged down from wealth and power by pride, cursed with incest, suicide, and murder.
Oedipus the King
Sophocles' most profound and celebrated play in a vivid and dynamic new translation by award-winning poet Robert Bagg Oedipus the King remains, after 2,500 years, a shocking, suspenseful, and highly emotional drama in which a royal family is brought to hellish ruin by fate, an inscrutable god, and the kindness of a stranger. Oedipus must find and destroy the murderer of his predecessor, King Laios, to rid Thebes of the plague caused by the killer's undetected and malignant presence. The play's headlong action resembles a tautly woven criminal investigation, but one whose immense stakes pose a host of wrenching and still unresolved questions: What constitutes human guilt? Why do gods punish the innocent? What are the limits of human intellect? Why do family bonds so often prove destructive? Robert Bagg's spare, idiomatic, and nuanced translation is ideally suited for reading, teaching, or performing. This is Sophocles for a new generation.
A bold new translation of Euripides' shockingly modern classic work, from Forward Prize-winning poet, Robin Robertson, with a new introduction by bestselling and award-winning writer, critic and translator Daniel Mendelsohn. Thebes has been rocked by the arrival of Dionysus, the god of wine and ecstasy. Drawn by the god's power, the women of the city have rushed to worship him on the mountain, drinking and dancing with frenzied abandon. Pentheus, the king of Thebes, is furious, denouncing this so-called "god" as a charlatan and an insurgent. But no mortal can deny a god, much less one as powerful and seductive as Dionysus, who will exact a terrible revenge on Pentheus, drawing the king to his own tragic destruction. This stunning translation by award-winning poet Robin Robertson reinvigorates Euripides' masterpiece. Updating it for contemporary readers, he brings the ancient verse to fervid, brutal life, revealing a work of art as devastating and relevant today as it was in the fifth century, BC.
Sophocles' masterpiece Antigone dramatizes the terrible series of events that results when patriotism clashes with familial duty - and hubris incites the wrath of the gods. The sons of Oedipus have killed each other on the battlefield, but Thebes' new ruler, their uncle Kreon, decrees that only Eteokles will be granted a hero's burial; Polyneikes, who attacked his own city, is left to rot in dishonor. Their sister Antigone, enraged by the king's heartlessness, defies him by burying Polyneikes' body herself. That decision dooms her, and the consequences destroy Kreon's wife and son. A play that begins with a woman's defiance of a tyrant ends in the havoc caused by Eros, the god of love. A drama abounding with moral conundrums, Antigone is presented in an extraordinary new translation by Robert Bagg, modern in idiom while faithful to the original Greek. Ideally suited for reading, teaching, or performing, this is Sophocles for a new generation to discover and admire.
Oedipus at Kolonos (Sophocles)
A soaring new translation of Sophocles' final masterpiece in which blind and homeless Oedipus reclaims his stature as Athenian drama's greatest hero Produced after his death, Oedipus at Kolonos is Sophocles' final play and the last play in the Oedipus cycle. In it he explores anew the meaning of guilt and innocence, family loyalty and love, Athens' greatness, a hero's value after death, and the power of inscrutable gods to enhance all aspects of human life, including a hero's dying moments. Oedipus finds his way, guided by his daughter Antigone, to the grove of the Furies near Athens, where Apollo has promised he will meet an extraordinary fate. As war brews in Thebes between his two sons, King Theseus befriends and welcomes Oedipus to Athens. Suddenly his daughter Ismene arrives with alarming news: the Thebans plan to abduct him. Treacherous Kreon tries just that. Then his desperate son Polyneikes, who earlier betrayed his father, begs Oedipus to bless him so he may defeat his brother and recapture Thebes. Oedipus and Theseus repulse both villains. The voice of Zeus then resoundingly summons Oedipus into the Furies' grove to meet his gentle and mysterious death, described by Sophocles in soaring and uncanny poetry. This compelling new translation by Robert Bagg, modern in idiom while faithful to the original, brings Sophocles to a new generation.
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