Antigone

ISBN-10: 0062132121

ISBN-13: 9780062132123

Edition: 2012

Authors: Sophocles

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The final chapter of Sophocles's classic Oedipus cycle, Antigone epitomizes the clash between law, social obligations, familial duty, and the honor of the gods.Oedipus's sons have slain each other on the battlefield, but Kreon, their uncle and Thebes's new ruler, has decreed that only Eteokles be buried. Polyneikes will be left to rot—the greatest dishonor imaginable for a Greek warrior. When their sister Antigone, however, attempts to see Polyneikes properly honored, she garners a death sentence for breaking Kreon's edict. Neither she nor Kreon's son Haemon can convince Kreon to reconsider, forcing the blind prophet Tiresias to reveal the terrible legacy that Kreon's hubris will bring to Thebes. Yet by then it is too late—Thebes will run with the blood of its ill-fated royal family, their fate for those who would act against the will of the gods.Antigone is Sophocles's classic investigation of the fallout that occurs when pride overwhelms social dignity—in Kreon's case—and when passion overwhelms perseverance—in Antigone's case. This phenomenal translation by Robert Bagg achieves an accurate but idiomatic rendering of the Greek original, suited for reading, teaching, or performing, and sure to open a new generation to the depth and power of Greek drama.
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Book details

List price: $8.99
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 8/7/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 160
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.286
Language: English

The Greek dramatist Sophocles, born to a wealthy family at Colonus, near Athens, was admired as a boy for his personal beauty and musical skill. He served faithfully as a treasurer and general for Athens when it was expanding its empire and influence. In the dramatic contests, he defeated Aeschylus in 468 b.c. for first prize in tragedy, wrote a poem to Herodotus (see Vol. 3), and led his chorus and actors in mourning for Euripides just a few months before his own death. He wrote approximately 123 plays, of which 7 tragedies are extant, as well as a fragment of his satiric play, Ichneutae (Hunters). His plays were produced in the following order: Ajax (c.450 b.c.), Antigone (441 b.c.), Oedipus Tyrannus (c.430 b.c.), Trachiniae (c.430 b.c.), Electra (between 418 and 410 b.c.), Philoctetes (409 b.c.), and Oedipus at Colonus (posthumously in 401 b.c.). With Sophocles, Greek tragedy reached its most characteristic form. He added a third actor, made each play independent---that is, not dependent on others in a trilogy---increased the numbers of the chorus, introduced the use of scenery, shifted the focus from religious to more philosophical issues, and brought language and characters, though still majestic, nearer to everyday life. His finely delineated characters are responsible for the tragedy that befalls them, and they accept it heroically. Aristotle (see Vols. 3, 4, and 5) states that Sophocles said he portrayed people as they ought to be; Euripides, as they are. His utter command of tragic speech in the simple grandeur of his choral odes, dialogues, and monologues encourages the English reader to compare him to Shakespeare (see Vol. 1).

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