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The Three Theban Plays: Antigone/Oedipus the King/Oedipus at Colonus Paperback – Apr 26 1984


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The Three Theban Plays: Antigone/Oedipus the King/Oedipus at Colonus + The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The Libation Bearers; The Eumenides + The Iliad
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 1 edition (April 26 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140444254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140444254
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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In the sixth and fifth centuries before the birth of Christ an ancient civilization reached such heights of intellectual and artistic achievement that every succeeding period of Western culture, from the Roman Empire to the twentieth century, has been heavily in its debt, whether acknowledged or not. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian B on May 25 2003
Format: Paperback
There are a few versions of the Three Theban Plays out there for you to buy, but this is the one I most highly recommend. And it all comes down to a key word: translation.
I really like the work that Robert Fagles does on his translations. They are easy to read, fluid, and still manage to be poetic. There's a lot of work put into these pages, and it shows.
For work or for pleasure, The Three Theban Plays is an important part of dramatic history that everyone should read. If you're reading it, read it the best way that you can. Get this translation, and get it now.
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By some guy on Feb. 24 2004
Format: Paperback
Oedipus the king is great, Antigone is good too. I'm not read Oedipus at colonus. The greeks did it as good as any modern writer, even shakespeare.
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By A Customer on Aug. 27 2002
Format: Paperback
I just saw the 1957 film of Oedipus Rex. Wo - ow. What a story.
And this translation by Robert Fagles is extremely good. Sophocles' drama is so simple, and so perfect, that it will probably never be forgotten! This is the ancestor to Hollywood - from 2500 years ago. THRILL to the dramatic exposition of Oedipus' unknowing sins! LAUGH at the gorgeous double-entendres in every second line! SHUDDER at the scene where Oedipus and Jocasta think they have the prophecy licked, and laugh at the gods!
This is fine drama, no mistake. I have not yet read the other two Theban plays in this volume, but I'm sure they're great too.
Oh by the way: Australian readers take note. The cover of the Aussie edition has no fewer than EIGHT typing and setting errors! "Robert Eagles??" "Thebian Plays??" I see from Amazon that the American edition is corrected. But Australian readers should take note. I don't know, maybe someone accidentally submitted a draft?
To make sure you have the right edition, read the spine. The stuffed-up version says "THEBIAN PLAYS"...ooer.
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By Todd on Aug. 10 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm a great fan of Robert Fagles, and by no means does he let the reader down with this adaptation of Sophocle's triumvirate masterpiece.
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Format: Paperback
First stop for drama lovers. These are uniquely remarkable plays that have obviously stood the test of time (2,500 years and counting) though, sadly, are often muddled in the mythology of their source. They are based on Theban myths already old when Sophocles adapted them and are unified only in their focus on the family of Oedipus, and in their temporal economy: there is no legendary "cycle". But they remain, as individual works, mesmeric. Plato, who would banish dramatists from his perfect Republic, went easy on Sophocles alone, Aristotle crowned him, Milton, Samuel Johnson, Yeats and Pound adored him, Shelley died with a Sophoclean text in his pocket. What precisely accounts for this magic? The answer is the obvious: there is a universality in themes - from politics of the state to the male-female dynamic, from mortality to divinity - despatched with a rhythm and speed prophetic of modern drama. Here's where Robert Fagles' brilliance shines: in his wit of interpretation, and the modern energy of the lines. Through the 19th century the performance of these plays (only seven of an estimated 120 survive) was banned in England on moral grounds: it is fascinating to behold the muddy turn of the cultural wheel, and measure unstoppable genius against fashion.
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