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4.1 out of 5 stars
Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2005
Oedipus the King is one of the classic works of Western literature. It was originally written as a play in around 429 BC by Sophocles (~496-406 BC), a Greek philosopher and playwright. It took the Greek world by storm, and has been handed down to future generations who have also been greatly influenced by it. Most notably in modern times, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) took this work as pointing toward a deep-rooted psychosis, the Oedipus Complex.
Oedipus the King (also known as Oedipus Rex or Oedipus Tyrannus) is the story of Oedipus, the king of Thebes, which is suffering under a horrific plague. Finding out that the god Apollo has laid the plague on the city until it should punish the murderer of its previous king, Oedipus pronounces a curse on the murderer and sets out to discover who the murderer was. Sadly for Oedipus, there is fate upon fate wrapped up in this mystery, and doom upon doom.
This book, is not merely a translation of Oedipus the King, instead it is an "acting version," created by the Stratford Shakespearian Festival Company of Canada for High School level students. The book begins with an introduction to Sophocles and Greek theatre, and after the play are copious notes, critical excerpts and questions for discussion. The play itself was written so that a young reader, with no background understanding of Greek theatre or culture will understand it.
Overall, I found this to be a great book. I enjoyed the information about the play a lot, and believe that it will be very helpful to any reader. But, foremost, I enjoyed the play itself. The story is powerful, and quite enthralling. I have never seen this play acted out, but do think that this translation would make it excellent. I loved this book, and highly recommend it!
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on 20 June 2015
Prophecy and fate feature in key roles, and perhaps a moral of it should be – do not try and cheat your fate for you will fail, and fail disastrously. Oedipus – a man who should have everything including a loving wife, a palace, and a reputation for bravery – attempts to cheat the seers who prophecy he will murder his father and marry his mother. Although the cast is fairly small and the action is over a short time, with reference to past events, it pulls in the reader quickly. One soon begins to feel for Oedipus, although he is somewhat arrogant, and by the end of the play the tragedy is all pervasive. Death, shame, fate and the whim of the gods – just what a reader needs for perhaps one of the most well-known and tragic stories from antiquity, Oedipus Rex is a play of epic proportions.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2011
We are currently studying King Lear in my A level English class and have to use Oedipus Rex as a secondary text. This edition was handed out to us and was better than some of the others I've seen. The play itself was actually quite good; and surprisingly it hadn't gone 'out of date': the story was understandable and you are able to feel the tragedy and anguish of the characters.
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This is currently the "approved" text of the board for the exams the house teenager is sitting.
It looks quite approachable, is a decent-enough little book for durability and legibility and thank the stars it's a sensible price for a student text.

Ol' Sophocles needs to work on his humour a bit though. This was not the rip-roaring barrel of laughs I was hoping it was going to be and his idea of "happy ever after" is hardly congruent with mine.
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A great budget edition, has everything you need as an interested reader, although perhaps academics and those studying at uni may need more detail. The layout is good and footnotes covered everything is was curious about.
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on 30 October 2013
Very interesting and my first time reading something like this. Still reading it at present. Really gets you to think that we are no different and still finding out how we would deal with lifes challenges!!!!
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on 23 July 2015
Had to buy this for English didn't I. Read it in lessons, studied it. I've failed English now. Make what you want of this review, I don't care because my life is over now anyway.
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on 21 March 2013
Very cheap, and fast delivery! Ideal for English students like myself who don't have much money to spend on lots of books, so was surprised, thanks :)
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on 17 January 2015
Simply presented with a good introduction to explain things
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on 8 December 2014
Bought for Uni,arrived as said,prompt delivery
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