Electra and Other Plays

ISBN-10: 0140449787
ISBN-13: 9780140449785
Edition: 2008
List price: $13.00 Buy it from $5.89
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Description: Four seminal tragedies by the master Greek dramatist, in sparkling new translations Of the more than one hundred plays Sophocles wrote over the course of his long life, only seven survive. This volume collects four of them, all newly translated.  More...

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Book details

List price: $13.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 6/24/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

Four seminal tragedies by the master Greek dramatist, in sparkling new translations Of the more than one hundred plays Sophocles wrote over the course of his long life, only seven survive. This volume collects four of them, all newly translated. Electra portrays the grief of a young woman for her father, Agamemnon, who has been killed by her mothers lover. Ajaxdepicts the enigma of power and weakness vis-vis the fall of the great hero. Women of Trachisdramatizes the tragic love and error of Heracless deserted wife, Deianeira; Philoctetesexamines the conflict between physical force and moral strength.

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).

Chronology
General Introduction
Further Reading
A Note on the Translation
Preface to Women of Trachis
Women of Trachis
Preface to Ajax
Ajax
Preface to Electra
Electra
Preface to Philoctetes
Philoctetes
Notes
The Ancient Greek Theatre and the Tragic Poet's Task
Glossary of Proper Names

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