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Sophocles

Antigone and other Tragedies: Antigone, Deianeira, Electra

Oliver Taplin (Emeritus Professor, Emeritus Professor, University of Oxford)

$44.95

Hardback

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Oxford University Press
13 October 2020
Sophocles stands as one of the greatest dramatists of all time, and one of the most influential on artists and thinkers over the centuries. His plays are deeply disturbing and unpredictable, unrelenting and open-ended, refusing to present firm answers to the questions of human existence, or to provide a redemptive justification of the ways of gods to men-or women. These three tragedies portray the extremes of human suffering and emotion, turning the heroic myths into supreme works of poetry and dramatic action.

Antigone's obsession with the dead, Creon's crushing inflexibility, Deianeira's jealous desperation, the injustice of the gods witnessed by Hyllus, Electra's obsessive vindictiveness, the threatening of insoluble dynastic contamination... Such are the pains and distortions and instabilities of Sophoclean tragedy. And yet they do not deteriorate into cacophony or disgust or incoherence or silence: they face the music, and through that the suffering is itself turned into the coherence of music and poetry. These original and distinctive verse translations convey the vitality of Sophocles' poetry and the vigour of the plays in performance, doing justice to both the sound of the poetry and the theatricality of the tragedies. Each play is accompanied by an introduction and substantial notes on topographical and mythical references and interpretation.

Antigone is an icon of Greek tragedy, and Antigone is herself a tragic icon in world theatre. Sophocles' best-known and most performed play tells a story of defiance and the impossible demands of loyalty.

Deianeira, also known as Women of Trachis or Trachinaian Women, wrestles with the anxieties of matrimony and motherhood, following the doomed attempt by the wife of the hero Heracles to assert her dignity.

Electra portrays a vengeful daughter's journey through unflagging grief and murderous fury, ending without resolution in uncertainty and suspense.
Translated by:  
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 217mm,  Width: 147mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   438g
ISBN:   9780199286249
ISBN 10:   0199286248
Pages:   272
Publication Date:  
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Oliver Taplin retired in 2008 from being a Professor of Classics at the University of Oxford and, for thirty-five years, Tutorial Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford. The leading recurrent theme of his work has been the reception of poetry and drama through performance and material culture, in both ancient and modern times. As well as his academic work, he has been involved in broadcasting and theatre, both within and beyond the UK. Productions on which he has collaborated include the Oresteia (1981-2, dir. Peter Hall), The Thebans (1992, dir. Adrian Noble), the Oresteia (1999-2000, dir. Katie Mitchell), and Swallow Song (2004 and 2006 dir. Lydia Koniordou). Sophocles, born in the 490s BC, was a leading ancient Greek dramatist who composed as many as 120 plays in his long lifetime, although only seven survive. He entered and won many of the dramatic competitions held in honour of Dionysus, and was also a prominent public figure in the Athens of his day.

Reviews for Sophocles: Antigone and other Tragedies: Antigone, Deianeira, Electra

My enthusiasm is undiminished ... a notable achievement. * Malcolm Heath, Greece & Rome *


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