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The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus…
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The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus (edition 1984)

by Sophocles (Translated by Robert Fagles), Robert Fagles (Translator), Bernard Knox (Introduction)

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9,12036328 (3.99)126
Member:Kassilem
Title:The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus
Authors:Sophocles (Translated by Robert Fagles)
Other authors:Robert Fagles (Translator), Bernard Knox (Introduction)
Info:Penguin Classics (2000), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 430 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Play, Historical Texts, Mythology

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The Three Theban Plays: Antigone ; Oedipus at Colonus ; Oedipus the King by Sophocles

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1958
  CPI | May 2, 2016 |
A few years ago I had read the Storrs translation of these plays (the one most commonly found in the free public domain ebook editions) which were disappointingly poor. This translation by Robert Fagles is much much better!!

I cannot speak to the introductory material, as I skipped that part but there was a substantial amount of it. ( )
  leslie.98 | May 2, 2016 |
I discovered the work of Robert Fagles a few years ago, when deciding which translation of the Iliad to read. Then I read his translation of the Odyssey. And now I have completed his translation of three plays by Sophocles. I am so hooked.

The story of Oedipus has a such a rich cultural history, and this text is a great introduction to the story. As Bernard Knox's beautiful introduction explains, Sophocles was working from a well-known mythological archetype -- his audience knew the basics of the story, and it was his job as a playwright to sculpt the drama in new and engaging ways. This was especially interesting to me as I read this book at the time of the release of 'Batman v Superman', and was amused that many people in my social circles explained the victories and failures of the film in reference to their preexisting understanding of the 'true' stories' canons and precedents. All this is to say, visiting Sophocles world is in many ways not much unlike the engaging with the archetypes of today. ( )
1 vote jamesshelley | Apr 6, 2016 |
There's something rotten in the city-state of Thebes.

I read this "trilogy" of plays over several years from the end of high school to the end of university. I studied "Antigone" in Grade 12, then "Oedipus the King" as part of a classics English course and "Oedipus at Colonus" as part of a Philosophy and Literature course. I have always employed the story of "Oedipus the King" and some of Aristotle's commentary on it as part of my teaching about Shakespearean tragedy.

So, I was delighted to learn that Fullhouse Productions is presenting this favourite of mine next May in Hamilton, New Zealand
(https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fullhouse-Productions/229418790406995. It's given me a great excuse to re-read this brilliant play, a prototype for so many features of Shakespeare's tragedies.

Although the audience already knows the back-story, it reads like a tremendous mystery as Oedipus relentlessly seeks to solve the problem presented by Cadmus and the oracle. Even on the page, the drama plays tersely yet with great suspense and I really felt for Oedipus and his family as they discover the truth of his origins and Laius' death.

I loved seeing figures and situations that are so familiar from Shakespeare's dramas: the initial corrupt nature of Thebes like that of Hamlet's Denmark; blind Oedipus appearing on stage like blind Gloucester; Oedipus and Jocasta unknowingly living a life like Claudius and Gertrude; Oedipus rejecting Cadmus like Lear rejecting Kent.

Of course, Sophocles' masterpiece is more than a prototype - it is a complete play in itself and I look forward to seeing it performed next year.


Antony Millen is the author of "Redeeming Brother Murrihy: The River To Hiruharama"
[b:Redeeming Brother Murrihy: The River To Hiruharama|18067949|Redeeming Brother Murrihy The River To Hiruharama|Antony Millen|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1370951913s/18067949.jpg|25269951] ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  Antony_Millen | Jul 7, 2014 |
When it comes to tragic irony, few ancient or modern playwrights come close to Sophocles and these are the three works that showcase his dark genius at its best. This particular edition is translated by the ever-dependable Robert Fagles, and contains the following plays, in the order they were first produced:

1 - ANTIGONE: Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and heir to her family's persistent dark cloud of misfortune. She wants to bury her equally-unlucky brother but her loyalty to her doomed brethren may cost her. (Of course it will! It's Sophocles!)

2 - OEDIPUS THE KING: Oedipus is the best king for miles around and everyone knows it, including him.* Unfortunately an ominous stain is creeping into his idyllic kingdom; a plague is raging and it seems the gods are upset about something or other. The only person who seems to know what's up is a blind prophet and he's got some bad news for poor Oeddy.

3 - OEDIPUS AT COLONUS: The action in this place takes place between the events of Oedipus the King and Antigone. This the most philosophical of the trilogy, dealing with ideas of fate, guilt, and redemption. (I thought it was a bit boring.)

* Uh oh! Hubris! ( )
  saturnloft | Sep 28, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (294 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sophoclesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Banks, Theodore HowardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fagles, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fitzgerald, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grene, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grene, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knox, BernardNotessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lattimore, RichmondEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyckoff, ElizabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for Duncan Grant
my choice and master spirit of this age.
for Martin W. Tanner
"he setteth his mind to finish his work, and watcheth to polish it perfectly."
for Clarissa
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My children, scions of the ancient Cadmean line, what is the meaning of this thronging round my feet, this holding out of olive boughs all wreathed in woe?
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140444254, Paperback)

Aristotle called "Oedipus The King," the second-written of the three Theban plays written by Sophocles, the masterpiece of the whole of Greek theater. Today, nearly 2,500 years after Sophocles wrote, scholars and audiences still consider it one of the most powerful dramatic works ever made. Freud sure did. The three plays--"Antigone," "Oedipus the King," and "Oedipus at Colonus"--are not strictly a trilogy, but all are based on the Theban myths that were old even in Sophocles' time. This particular edition was rendered by Robert Fagles, perhaps the best translator of the Greek classics into English.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:26 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Aristotle called "Oedipus The King," the second-written of the three Theban plays written by Sophocles, the masterpiece of the whole of Greek theater. Today, nearly 2,500 years after Sophocles wrote, scholars and audiences still consider it one of the most powerful dramatic works ever made. Freud sure did. The three plays--"Antigone," "Oedipus the King," and "Oedipus at Colonus"--Are not strictly a trilogy, but all are based on the Theban myths that were old even in Sophocles' time. This particular edition was rendered by Robert Fagles, perhaps the best translator of the Greek classics into English.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140444254, 0140440038

Yale University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300117760, 0300119011

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