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The Theban Plays of Sophocles

The Theban Plays of Sophocles

Translated by David R. Slavitt
Copyright Date: 2007
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    The Theban Plays of Sophocles
    Book Description:

    In this needed and highly anticipated new translation of the Theban plays of Sophocles, David R. Slavitt presents a fluid, accessible, and modern version for both longtime admirers of the plays and those encountering them for the first time. Unpretentious and direct, Slavitt's translation preserves the innate verve and energy of the dramas, engaging the reader-or audience member-directly with Sophocles' great texts. Slavitt chooses to present the plays not in narrative sequence but in the order in which they were composed-Antigone,Oedipus Tyrannos,Oedipus at Colonus-thereby underscoring the fact that the story of Oedipus is one to which Sophocles returned over the course of his lifetime. This arrangement also lays bare the record of Sophocles' intellectual and artistic development.Renowned as a poet and translator, Slavitt has translated Ovid, Virgil, Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Ausonius, Prudentius, Valerius Flaccus, and Bacchylides as well as works in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Hebrew. In this volume he avoids personal intrusion on the texts and relies upon the theatrical machinery of the plays themselves. The result is a major contribution to the art of translation and a version of the Oedipus plays that will appeal enormously to readers, theater directors, and actors.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-13467-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Translator’s Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Antigone
    (pp. 1-58)

    Dear sister, Ismene, what evils that come

    from Oedipus our father has Zeus not sent

    to burden our lives? There is nothing, no shame, no pain,

    no sorrow, no disgrace that you and I

    have not endured. And now comes the general’s new

    proclamation. What have you heard? Or do you

    take no notice of how our enemies move

    against our friends?

    No word have I had,

    good or bad, since we two sisters have lost

    two brothers who died at the same hour, each

    by the other’s hand. And the Argive army fled

    in the night. But beyond that,...

  6. Oedipus Tyrannos
    (pp. 59-136)

    My children, the latest to spring from Cadmus’ stock,

    why do you sit before my house with your votive

    garlands? The whole city is filled with wailing,

    lamentations, and prayers to Apollo. Incense

    fills the air. I have not sent to inquire

    but have come myself to hear from you directly,

    I, Oedipus, whom all call famous.

    You, sir,

    as a priest and elder, you are a fitting spokesman.

    Say what the people fear or what they desire.

    What can I do to be helpful in any way?

    I am not hard of heart and cannot but feel

    pity in...

  7. Oedipus at Colonus
    (pp. 137-228)

    Antigone, child of an old blind man, where are we?

    What place is this? What city of men have we come to?

    Who now shall welcome wandering Oedipus

    who brings but scanty gifts? Expecting little,

    I get even less, but that, for me, is enough,

    for suffering and time that have been my companions

    have instructed me in contentment. Nobility, too,

    teaches me patience.

    But child, do you see a place

    where I can stop and sit down, somewhere safe,

    neither forbidden to strangers nor consecrated?

    Perhaps some temple park would do. Lead me

    there and let me rest. We...

  8. Glossary of Names
    (pp. 229-238)
  9. Notes
    (pp. 239-239)