Oedipus the King (Greek Tragedy in New Translations) Paperback – 31 Mar 1988
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'The editors have selected translators who know Greek but who are poets themselves. The result ... is excellent' Tony Butler, Irish Press
'An excellent translation which more than most succeeds in capturing the poetry and the intensity of the original and so presents a realistic rendering of a classic...the modern rader hoping to glimpse the nature of Greek tragedy will do no better than read this translation.' Library Review
About the Author
Stephen Berg is a founder and co-editor of the American Poetry Review and the author of several volumes of poetry, including The Daughters, Grief, Akmatova at the Black Gates, and In It.Diskin Clay, Professor of Classics at Johns Hopkins University, is the author of numerous articles, translations, and reviews in classical journals.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
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!
However, I was always bothered by the fact that Sophocles engages in some rather heavy-handed foreshadowing regarding the fact that the play's tragic hero is going to blind himself before the conclusion. The lines were closer to, dare I say, sophomoric humor than eloquently setting up the climax. But then I read something very, very interesting in Homer's "Iliad," where there appears a single reference to Oedipus which suggests that he died in battle. Remember now that Homer's epics were written several hundred years before Sophocles was born and that the Greek playwrights were allowed to take great liberties with the various myths (consider the three different versions of the death of Clytemnestra at the hands of Orestes we have from Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus). The Athenian audience would know its Homer, but "Oedipus The King" was a new play.
This leads me to advance a very interesting possibility: the Greek audience did not know that Oedipus was going to blind himself. This was a new idea. Jocasta (Iocasta) appears in the "Odyssey" when Odysseus visits Hades, but the only mention of the sin involved is in her marriage to her son, nothing about his being blind.
Obviously you will have to make your own judgment about my hypotheses, but I have to think it is at least worth consideration.
Still, there is the fact that because even those who do not know the play know the story about the man who killed his father and married his mother, "Oedipus The King" is usually misread by students. Because they know the curse they miss something very important: the curse that the oracle at Delphi tells Oedipus is not the same curse that was told to his parents (you can, to quote Casey Stengel, "look it up"). As in his play "Antigone," where the main character is not the title figure but Creon, Sophocles makes Jocasta more than a mere supporting character in this tragedy.
Consequently, while there is no need for me to convince you that "Oedipus The King" is a great play and the epitome of Greek tragedy, I have hopefully given you a couple of things to consider when next you use this play in class.
P.S. You can also play the cherubs Tom Lehrer's song for the movie version of "Oedipus The King." That will broaden their horizons in a totally unexpected direction.
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.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
I'm utterly disappointed.Read more
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Music, Stage & Screen > Performing Arts > Plays & Drama
- Books > Poetry, Drama & Criticism > Drama
- Books > Poetry, Drama & Criticism > History & Criticism > Literary Studies
- Books > Poetry, Drama & Criticism > History & Criticism > Literary Theory & Movements
- Books > Poetry, Drama & Criticism > Poetry > By Period > Classical, Early & Medieval