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This Oxford World’s Classics book offers three brilliant plays by Sophocles (c.495-405 BC). Sophocles himself was an active Athenian, both culturally and politically (which were never far apart in historical Athens) and lived through turbulent times. His works stand up there proudly with those of Aeschylus and Euripides.

The three works in this edition have been translated by H D F Kitto, an authority on Greek tragedy, and the introduction and notes by Edith Hall, another noted authority. So the reading of the texts is empathetic yet very accessible to the reader. The story of Oedipus may be broadly known by many prior to reading these plays, that of Antigone perhaps not so well know, and Electra perhaps better known as the sister of Orestes.

These are another great edition of great plays in this Oxford edition, complemented with notes, a bibligoraphy offering further ideas for reading on the plays or aspects of them and their reception, a chronology of Sophocle’s life, and really indepth and comprehensive explanatory notes to go with the texts. Definitely recommended.
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A seminal work of both literature and theatre, Oedipus still haunts us. Academics argue still over the 'meaning' of Oedipus: is he guilty? is he simply blind? what's the truth of the relationship between him and his mother Jocasta? If we could ever answer all these questions the play would lose its power and drop out of the canon. Read it in this excellent translation and make up your own mind.

Antigone has been reinterpreted repeatedly: as a feminist play, as a play about political oppression, as a play about a dysfunctional family. Antigone may be a difficult character to sympathise with or understand, but the poetry of the drama excels even that of Oedipus (especially the eerie, haunting 'hymn to Dionysus').

More human than Aeschylus, more stately than Euripides, the greatest tragedy is that only seven of Sophocles plays have come down to us, and these two are the best.
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on 4 April 2013
The Oxford World's Classics volume contains three of the seven plays by Sophocles that have survived the past 2,500 years. These three tragedies are probably his best known works, and the dilemma or conflict at the heart of each one of them is as painful and powerful today as ever. Characters such as Oedipus and Antigone, with the strength to act on the values they hold dear - even if it brings ruin and death - are both admirable and fearsome.

The translator has taken a few liberties with the text to make them more `performable' in English, though the amendments are few and are duly highlighted in the notes. Sophocles is one of the founding fathers of theatre and, as such, should be part of every school curriculum.
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on 7 February 2013
Bought Sophocles Antigone to discuss at my European Literature Reading Group in paralel to that Whitten by Jean Annouih. Found this translation both as images and rythm of the verse to be superior to others. Much enjoyed.
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on 12 September 2015
I am delighted with this book. I find it very interesting.
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on 28 October 2015
Bought for course work
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Following the ending of "Oedipus the King," Oedipus was exiled from Thebes, blind and a beggar. We learn from "Oedipus at Colonus" that his sons, Eteocles and Polyneices engaged in a civil war for the throne of Thebes (covered in "Seven Against Thebes" by Aeschylus). The two brothers kill each other and Creon, brother of Jocasta, becomes king. He orders that Eteocles, who nobly defended his city, shall receive an honorable burial, but that Polyneices, for leading the Argive invaders, shall be left unburied. This leads Antigone, sister to both of the slain brothers, to have to choose between obeying the rule of the state, the dictates of familial binds, and the will of the gods. This, of course, is the matter at the heart of this classic tragedy by Sophocles.
It is too easy to see the issues of this play, first performed in the 5th century B.C., as being reflected in a host of more contemporary concerns, where the conscience of the individual conflicts with the dictates of the state. However, it seems to me that the conflict in "Antigone" is not so clear-cut as we would suppose. After all, Creon has the right to punish a traitor and to expect loyal citizens to obey. Ismene, Antigone's sister, chooses to obey, but Antigone takes a different path. The fact that the "burial" of her brother consists of the token gesture of throwing dirt upon his face, only serves to underscore the ambiguity of the situation Sophocles is developing. Even though the playwright strips Creon of his son, Haemon and wife, Eurydice by the end of the drama, it is not a fatal verdict rendered against the king's judgment, but rather the playing out of the tragedy to its grim conclusion.
Note: Although not a universal sentiment, I have always enjoyed Jean Anouilh's "modern" version of the play, produced in 1944 and rampant with symbolism of the Nazi occupation of France. The two plays offer a fascinating analog and students are usually quick to appreciate how Anouilh revitalizes the ancient myth with the political situation in which he lived. Anouilh's play also has the virtue of making the title character the main character of the play.
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on 28 December 2014
Jolly Good
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on 6 December 2013
Amazing book. The actual version I wanted. Thank you!!! ;). Looked brand new!! :) this company is very kind very pleased and happy. This book is recommended
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on 30 March 2002
As with all his works, Sophocles tragedies are well written masterpieces that have lasted through the ages. Antigone takes the cake in this trio of plays, but the other two are well in second place. Though not for those who aren't fond of English or historic events, the plays are very enjoyable to the intelligent and interested reader. The cover art is fitting, but the actual text could be improved, particularly for those who have eye trouble.
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