Sophocles: Oedipus Rex

ISBN-10: 0521617359
ISBN-13: 9780521617352
Edition: 2nd 2006 (Revised)
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Description: This second edition of the commentary on this most important of ancient plays investigates why it has fascinated the human mind for so long. It devotes the introduction to an examination of the story and the technique employed by Sophocles to unfold  More...

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Book details

List price: $40.99
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 7/27/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 226
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.682

This second edition of the commentary on this most important of ancient plays investigates why it has fascinated the human mind for so long. It devotes the introduction to an examination of the story and the technique employed by Sophocles to unfold the plot.

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).

Introduction
Oedipus Rex
Commentary
Appendix on lyric metres

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