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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyed It
Heaney's version is easy to read and understand. A truly terrific tale of tragedy, heartbreak, and honour. I really enjoyed reading and studying this play and would recommend it to anyone looking for a moving play to read. It's short and quick and one i'll be rereading.
Published on 8 April 2010 by Amy Connolly

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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
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Published 2 months ago by christine geddes


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyed It, 8 April 2010
By 
Amy Connolly "book addict" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles' Antigone (Paperback)
Heaney's version is easy to read and understand. A truly terrific tale of tragedy, heartbreak, and honour. I really enjoyed reading and studying this play and would recommend it to anyone looking for a moving play to read. It's short and quick and one i'll be rereading.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fine translation., 23 July 2004
By 
deadbeat (Tiptoe) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Burial at Thebes (Hardcover)
Following a battle for supremacy, Eteocles and Polyneices, the two sons of Oedipus, kill each other, leaving Creon, the brother-in-law to Oedipus, as ruler of Thebes. Since Polyneices lead the attacking force against Thebes, Creon labelled him a traitor and denied him any funeral rites. Anyone who countermanded this law would do so on pain of death.
This is the backdrop to The Burial at Thebes, formerly know as Antigone, the last play in the Oedipus trilogy by Sophocles.
It is a play of desperate and wrenching simplicity. The eponymous Antigone, sister of Polyneices, is faced with a choice: to choose between obeying the dictates of family love, in giving burial to her slaughtered brother, or to obey the laws of the state, as represented by King Creon. Her choice is made without hesitation, to honour the dead and defy the state. This is done at a terrible cost. She not only relinquished her own life but also her betrothed's, Haemon son of Creon, who fell on his own sword when he saw her dead. Following Haemon's death, Creon's wife, Euripides, takes up Creon's sword and after cursing her husband kills herself. Creon ends the play a broken man. His pride, his stubbornness in refusing to rescind the death penalty, ultimately cost him his wife and only son.
Many elements of the play lend themselves to modern times and dilemmas, but unlike some other translators, Heaney has the sense to trust in the original, and adds little in the way of anxiously contemporary signposting. He keeps the lines taut and clear, making the effect of this play all the more powerful. Antigone contains some choruses which are among the most famous in all Greek tragedy, and Heaney gives a very impressive account of these, adding a kind of dark burnish to the verbal atmosphere of his translation.
If you are an admirer of Greek tragedy I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book. Also, if you enjoyed Heaney's Beowulf, you will like this too. It is another great reinvention of a classic.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic!!, 8 Feb. 2012
This review is from: The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles' Antigone (Paperback)
I studied this for AA100, Open University. Its protagonists are Antigone and King Creon. King Creon has declared that Antigone's brother Polyneices's corpse be left for the birds and animals to eat (a traitor's burial). However, Antigone wants to honour her brother against the wishes of King Creon. It is a case of family loyalty versus the state with all the ensuing consequences. However, the situation is doubly complex as King Creon is also Antigone's uncle! The Burial at Thebes is a great read with plenty happening to keep readers interested. Heaney's version is excellent and relevant to many historical and contemporary world situations, which is why it is such a classic.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great, 9 Jun. 2009
By 
Conor Murphy "ronoc" (ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles' Antigone (Paperback)
A great translation of classic literature from a poet who himself will be considered as a classic writer.
The play itself is well known, but this translation manages to keep the classic language, and add a modern undertone. This tone never intrudes on the work, but enhances its constant rrelevance.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing changes, 2 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles' Antigone (Paperback)
Initially purchased for study purposes I found this interpretation of Antigone excellent, extremely readable with some amusing touches, its relevance to present situations is amazing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and I had been ambivalent at best, so when my Amazon package arrived I just ..., 14 July 2014
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This review is from: The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles' Antigone (Paperback)
A year ago I would have laughed heartily and long if anyone had told me I'd give one of the Classics A 5 star review.

It is one of the book's on the Open University AA100 The Arts past and present module, and I had been ambivalent at best, so when my Amazon package arrived I just thought it would be a quick flick through. How wrong could one girl be?

From the first word I was hooked. Seamus Heaney has done the most excellent job of making this Classic readable, and more importantly understandable and interesting.

I can't wait to get a deeper understanding of the text as my course goes on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating stuff, 1 Sept. 2013
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Well worth a purchase. A lovely, easygoing translation of the classic play by the late Derry man. Short but high quality stuff.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm, 19 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles' Antigone (Paperback)
Good, accessible but missing something. I've enjoyed Heaney's updating of other classics but this leaves out some essentials like the rawness of Antigone; and when Cleon doubts it isn't doubtful enough. I wonder if this is because the language is littered with too many modern colloquialisms? Or maybe the sometimes too contemporary words undermine the context from which the characters speak? Answers on a post card to....
Buy it, see what you think.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read, 16 July 2013
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This review is from: The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles' Antigone (Paperback)
The Burial at Thebes was on my list of set books and something I wouldn't have normally purchased. I thought it was an interesting read but it only took me a couple of hours to get through it - it almost didn't seem worth buying!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple but beautiful, 26 April 2012
By 
J. Cooper (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles' Antigone (Paperback)
Imagine a situation in which your morals, ethics and belief system were challenged by your ruler. Should you obey the Gods or your king? Do you take care of your earthly life or look to protect your family's honour and your own afterlife? That was the dilemma presented to Antigone by her King. What would you have done in her position? Its a difficult question to answer and one which had far-reaching and devastating effects.

This contemporary translation was a joy to read. Fresh, clean, but true to the original work, Seamus Heaney's edition was a moment of unparalleled beauty in a very hectic world!

Throughly enjoyable and highly recommended.
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The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles' Antigone
The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles' Antigone by Seamus Heaney (Paperback - 17 Mar. 2005)
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