Sophocles Ajax, Electra, Oedipus Tyrannus

ISBN-10: 0674995570
ISBN-13: 9780674995574
Edition: 1994 (Revised)
List price: $26.00 Buy it from $8.49
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Description: Sophocles (497/6-406 BC), with Aeschylus and Euripides, was one of the three great tragic poets of Athens, and is considered one of the world's greatest poets. The subjects of his plays were drawn from mythology and legend. Each play contains at  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.00
Copyright year: 1994
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 1/1/1994
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 492
Size: 4.75" wide x 6.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.682

Sophocles (497/6-406 BC), with Aeschylus and Euripides, was one of the three great tragic poets of Athens, and is considered one of the world's greatest poets. The subjects of his plays were drawn from mythology and legend. Each play contains at least one heroic figure, a character whose strength, courage, or intelligence exceeds the human norm-but who also has more than ordinary pride and selfassurance. These qualities combine to lead to a tragic end. Hugh Lloyd-Jones gives us, in two volumes, a new translation of the seven surviving plays. Volume I contains Oedipus Tyrannus (which tells the famous Oedipus story), Ajax (a heroic tragedy of wounded self-esteem), and Electra (the story of siblings who seek revenge on their mother and her lover for killing their father). Volume II contains Oedipus at Colonus (the climax of the fallen hero's life), Antigone (a conflict between public authority and an individual woman's conscience), The Women of Trachis (a fatal attempt by Heracles' wife to regain her husband's love), and Philoctetes (Odysseus' intrigue to bring an unwilling hero to the Trojan War). Of his other plays, only fragments remain; but from these much can be learned about Sophocles' language and dramatic art. The major fragments-ranging in length from two lines to a very substantial portion of the satyr play The Searchers-are collected in Volume III of this edition. In prefatory notes Lloyd-Jones provides frameworks for the fragments of known plays.

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
Sigla Ajax Electra Oedipus Tyrannus

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