The Theban Plays: King Oedipus / Oedipus at Colonus / Antigone
O Light! May I never look on you again, Revealed as I am, sinful in my begetting, Sinful in marriage, sinful in shedding of blood!’ The legends surrounding the royal house of Thebes inspired Sophocles (496406 BC) to create a powerful trilogy of mankind’s struggle against fate.... show more
O Light! May I never look on you again, Revealed as I am, sinful in my begetting, Sinful in marriage, sinful in shedding of blood!’ The legends surrounding the royal house of Thebes inspired Sophocles (496406 BC) to create a powerful trilogy of mankind’s struggle against fate. King Oedipus tells of a man who brings pestilence to Thebes for crimes he does not realise he has committed, and then inflicts a brutal punishment upon himself. With profound insights into the human condition, it is a devastating portrayal of a ruler brought down by his own oath. Oedipus at Colonus provides a fitting conclusion to the life of the aged and blinded king, while Antigone depicts the fall of the next generation, through the conflict between a young woman ruled by her conscience and a king too confident in his own authority. E. F. Watling’s masterful translation is accompanied by an introduction, which examines the central themes of the plays, the role of the Chorus, and the traditions and staging of Greek tragedy.
Publish date: April 26th 1973
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pages no: 176
Edition language: English
, Young Adult
, Read For School
, High School
Series: The Theban Plays (#1)
Perhaps second only to Shakespeare and Moliere in depicting his characters' inner life on stage. This translation is as good as a strictly literal one in giving us the playwright's voice while maintaining his meaning.
I was expecting this to be somewhat dreary, and some parts were, but it is on the whole a very moving series of plays. I especially liked King, and the murder mystery set up. One can see why it's held up as an example of irony and pathos. I was less into the Chorus in this than in Aeschylus, as it s...
Sophocles' is one of only three Ancient Greek tragedians with surviving plays. The plays by the earliest, Aeschylus, remind me of a ancient frieze--not stilted exactly, but still stylized, very formal. The plays by the last of the three, Euripides, to me seems the most natural, the most modern. Soph...
Just great stuff. As profound a grasp of humans as I have ever read. What else can be said? I really don't know. I probably should have read this a long time ago.
AcknowledgementsTranslator's PrefaceGreece and the TheaterIntroduction to Antigone--AntigoneIntroduction to Oedipus the King--Oedipus the KingIntroduction to Oedipus at Colonus--Oedipus at ColonusA Note on the Text of SophoclesTextual VariantsNotes on the TranslationSelect BibliographyThe Genealogy ...