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Oedipus the King (Enriched Classics) Mass Market Paperback – Deluxe Edition, July 1, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A great work of world literature has at last become a great poem in English. Mulroy’s translation is far superior to other available English verse translations.”—Robert J. Rabel, editor of Approaches to Homer, Ancient and Modern

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Enriched Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Enriched Classic edition (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416500332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416500339
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Great intro + extras after the book itself.
Amazon Customer
This edition comes with a nice set of introductory essays on the background of the play, the theater, and Sophocles.
Robert James
Had to read this book for my 12th grade British Lit class.
Damian Horton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Robert James on July 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Oedipus the King" or Oedipus Rex is the world's first great tragedy. Almost everyone knows the tale of the man who murdered his father and married his own mother. The only question is, which translation do you read? Bernard Knox makes an excellent case for his prose translation of Sophocles classic. This is a version designed for the a filmed version meant for the classroom; as such, it is remarkably smooth and easy to read. There is little poetry left in it; if that is what you seek, look elsewhere. This edition comes with a nice set of introductory essays on the background of the play, the theater, and Sophocles. All in all, a nice little edition.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Guillermo Maynez on April 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The central statement of Greek tragedy is that Man can not control his Destiny; that there is an ineluctable Fate, preordained and inescapable. No matter how much the poor humans fight against it, it must be fulfilled. And there is no character as tragic as Oedipus in all literature. In this play, we see Oedipus as a successful man who has become King of Thebes, happily married to an older woman named Iocasta. As the play unfolds, we can feel the proximity of something terrible indeed. When the blind sage Tiresias starts to unfold the true story of Oedipus, we can creepily feel the sheer horror that grips him, as he learns that he has killed his father and married his mother, unknowingly. I have no notice of any other plot that can be described as more tragic than this one. Besides, it is one of the main sources of our culture, as with all true Classics. Oedipus summarizes some of our worst fears and traumas: the need to "kill the paternal figure", the "dependency on our mother", the "impossibility of control external forces that shape our fate". It is horrific and fascinating, and there is simply no way to be indifferent to it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good, easy to follow translation. Yet, the power of Sophocles's prose is still evident. Great intro + extras after the book itself.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. D. Allison (dallison@biochem.med.ufl.edu) on June 12, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Oedipus the King" (or, "Oedipus Rex") is probably Sophocles' most famous work, first performed about 429 B. C. It should be required reading for every college Freshman (or High School student). As had been prophesied, Oedipus unknowingly kills his father, Laius, and unknowingly marries his own mother, Jocasta (or, Iocasta). The play has great use of irony. Jocasta recognizes the truth before Oedipus and tries to prevent him from finding out. The play has unsurpassed use of dramatic irony. The play inspires fear and pity in the audience for the hero. It has had a great influence on later authors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angela Caballero on April 24, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for a much easier and more modern translation of this play, and this book definitely exceeded those expectations. I bought this on my Kindle, but just in case, I also had an older translation of the play, which was definitely difficult to understand vs this one. I recommend this one so much, very easy to understand!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Title: Oedipus the King by Sophocles (also known as Oedipus Rex) translated by Bernard M. W. Knox

Pages: 110.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: Probably a year or so.

Days spent reading it: One afternoon while getting the oil in my car changed.

Why I read it: I read this play in high school and was interested in reading it again. I enjoy Greek plays. Especially tragedies.

Brief review:
The story of Oedipus is well known to us today. Oedipus unknowingly kills his own father, marries his own mother, and in the process becomes King of Thebes. What I found interesting in the reading the introduction to this play was that all Greek plays would be fairly well known to the audience. The playwright would be honored for skill in telling the tale and in their poetry. And in the case of Oedipus some of the greatest artistry is in the dramatic irony of Oedipus's words.

What I love about Oedipus the King is the constant struggle of Oedipus to reveal the truth of who his father's murder is (and eventually his own history) and his stubborn refusal to accept the truth when it is told plainly. The first major conversation Oedipus has with Tiresias captures this conflict perfectly. Oedipus asks Tiresias to tell what he knows. Tiresias understands who Oedipus is and what he has done. So Tiresias refuses to tell Oedipus. Oedipus promises it will be alright, just tell the truth. Tiresias tells Oedipus that Oedipus is the killer of the previous King, Laius. Oedipus rejects the truth, and rejects Tiresias. Over and over again, Oedipus wants the truth, but rejects it until all the evidence cannot be ignored any longer.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Damian Horton on January 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Had to read this book for my 12th grade British Lit class. A good, but depressing and heartwrenching tale. Perfect book for a class. The information provided at the beginning and ending of the book was extremely helpful and insightful.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had to read this book for Literature. It was actually heaps better than i thought. i thought that it would be really boring and so totally out of date. But when i read it i realised it was actually quite relevant to the 90's. Sophocles is a really excellent writer and i'm soooo glad that i read the book.
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