Sophocles II

ISBN-10: 0226307867
ISBN-13: 9780226307862
Edition: 2nd (Reprint)
List price: $13.00
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Description: "These authoritative translations consign all other complete collections to the wastebasket."—Robert Brustein, The New Republic "This is it. No qualifications. Go out and buy it everybody."—Kenneth Rexroth, The Nation "The translations  More...

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Book details

List price: $13.00
Edition: 2nd
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 5/15/1969
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 260
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

"These authoritative translations consign all other complete collections to the wastebasket."—Robert Brustein, The New Republic "This is it. No qualifications. Go out and buy it everybody."—Kenneth Rexroth, The Nation "The translations deliberately avoid the highly wrought and affectedly poetic; their idiom is contemporary....They have life and speed and suppleness of phrase."—Times Education Supplement "These translations belong to our time. A keen poetic sensibility repeatedly quickens them; and without this inner fire the most academically flawless rendering is dead."—Warren D. Anderson, American Oxonian "The critical commentaries and the versions themselves...are fresh, unpretentious, above all, functional."—Commonweal "Grene is one of the great translators."—Conor Cruise O'Brien, London Sunday Times "Richmond Lattimore is that rara avis in our age, the classical scholar who is at the same time an accomplished poet."—Dudley Fitts, New York Times Book Review

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).

Graham Hurley is an award-winning TV documentary maker who now writes full time. He is married and has grown up children. He lived in Portsmouth for 20 years but now lives in Exmouth, Devon.David Grene (1913–2002) taught classics for many years at the University of Chicago. He was a founding member of the Committee on Social Thought and coedited the University of Chicago Press’s prestigious series The Complete Greek Tragedies.

Ajax
The Women of Trachis
Electra Philoctetes

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