Oedipus the King

ISBN-10: 0979757118

ISBN-13: 9780979757112

Edition: 2007

Authors: Sophocles, Ian C. Johnston, Crowe Ian

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Description:

The story of Oedipus, as told by Sophocles in Oedipus the King, is famous for presenting a grim and compelling conflict between free will and fate. When Thebes is threatened by a divinely ordained plague, Oedipus, the king, a great and good man famous for his intelligence and courage, is determined to save the city. He launches his own investigation and pursues it relentlessly to its deeply ironic conclusion, an ending which brings to light the horrific secret of his own identity.Oedipus the King has long been regarded, not only as Sophocles' finest play, but also as the purest and most powerful expression of Greek tragic drama. In this new verse translation, Ian Johnston captures the compelling tension of Sophocles' drama, the intense poetic vision which has made this play justly celebrated as one of the great masterpieces of Western literature.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Richer Resources Publications
Publication date: 1/1/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 76
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.198
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).

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