Women of Trakhis
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A dynamic and necessary new translation of Sophocles' unsparing drama about a desperate wife's lethal scheme to keep her warrior husband's wavering love
In Women of Trakhis, Sophocles challenges the very ideal of Greek manhood, portraying the classic mythological hero Herakles as a man equally capable of courageous feats and savage acts.
Deianeira is an ordinary woman married to Herakles, the most feared and storied hero of the ancient world. To preserve their marriage she must constantly struggle to keep her husband's affection, cope with her anxieties about his dangerous profession as a hired killer, and endure his amorous pursuits of other women. Though she knows he is resourceful and violent, with a merciless temperament and legendary strength, she attempts to bind him permanently to her with a love potion from a source she should never have trusted, and thus loses everything she values.
This extraordinary new translation by Robert Bagg presents a classic drama in a modern idiom while remaining faithful to the original Greek. Women of Trakhis preserves the depth and subtlety of the dramatist's characters and ideas, and the lyricism of his poetry. This is Sophocles for a new generation.