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Oedipus at Colonus

ISBN-10: 0486406598

ISBN-13: 9780486406596

Edition: 1999 (Unabridged)

Authors: Sophocles

List price: $3.00
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Description:

Blamed for the discord within his former kingdom and banished by its citizens, Oedipus wanders for years in lonely exile until he finds a haven in a sacred olive grove at Colonus. Part of the trilogy that includes Oedipus Rex and Antigone; considered the great playwright's crowning achievement. Sir George Young translation.
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Book details

List price: $3.00
Copyright year: 1999
Publisher: Dover Publications, Incorporated
Publication date: 2/2/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 64
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.132
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).