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Oedipus Rex - Literary Touchstone Edition Paperback – June 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Prestwick House, Inc. (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580495931
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580495936
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This book is perfect for AP classes and is often selected for inclusion on the AP exam. The notes, reading pointers, and vocabulary in this addition will also help students at a lower reading level get the most out of these classics.

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Customer Reviews

For those thinking of purchasing this book, I would urge you to take a look at the Fitzgerald version.
awakenonthefloor
Even teachers who cannot get classroom sets of this edition to give their students to read can take advantage of what they find here to benefit their students.
Lawrance M. Bernabo
All this being said, as far as Greek classics go this one would fall somewhere in the middle, not exceptional but certainly not terrible.
jonc1001

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
"Oedipus Rex" is not only the most read Greek tragedy, it is also the most misread. The play's reputation exists in part because it is presented as the paradigmatic example of the Greek tragedy by no less an authority than Aristotle in his "Poetics." No doubt this reputation played a part it making it one of the relatively few plays by Sophocles that has been preserved from ancient times. Whenever I have taught the Greek tragedies in various classes my students almost always find in the play the best examples of Aristotle's key concepts of harmartia ("tragic error of judgment"), anagnorisis ("recognition"), peripeteia ("reversal"), catharsis, etc. 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 Rex" is usually misread by students. Because they know the curse they miss something very important: the curse that the oracle at Delphi tells Oedipus (ln. 752-57) is not the same curse that was told to his parents (ln. 676-78).

The only reference to Oedipus by name in Homer appears in the "Iliad" (Book 23, ln 756) where it says that the king of Thebes died in battle, which suggests he was not blind. At some point in between the time of Homer and when Sophocles wrote this play, the tradition became that Oedipus blinded himself (Ismene refers to it in "Antigone," ln 37-39, which was written 15 years earlier but may have been edited later to conform with the more famous work). Sophocles could be playing with the legend again by having the prophecy change because this way there is an explanation for the sin of incest being part of the prophecy: it is added when Jocasta tries to thwart destiny and she herself gives the baby Oedipus over to the huntsman to be killed.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lover of Philosophy on July 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don't buy the Kindle version! The publisher has not converted it to text. Rather, the pages have been scanned to a PDF document. The text cannot be increased or decreased in size. The annotations are not on the same page as the text but, rather, interspersed at random intervals. Most annotations are unreadable. It's impossible to read. Don't waste your money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on March 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Oedipus Rex has been an immortal world literature classic for nearly 2,500 years. Long considered the greatest Greek tragedy, it was hailed by Aristotle as the tragedy par excellence, and in the millennium plus since only Shakespeare's greatest work has even approached it. It remains a model of what tragedy should be; deftly plotted and perfectly executed, it has a sympathetic protagonist, a crushing climax, sublime poetry, and a wealth of meaningful themes. The play remains on the very short list of incomparably and undeniably great world literature masterpieces - one of the six or so best works ever. It is essential reading for everyone.

Perhaps the aspect that has always spoken most strongly is the character of Oedipus. The archetypal tragic hero, He is one of literature's most thoroughly sympathetic personages. Whatever his faults, he is far more sinned against than sinning; his rise from humble background to king is matched only by his even more awe-inspiring fall. Arrogant, haughty, and somewhat impulsive, he has distinct flaws, but they only make him more human; we feel for him because we see his profound humanity. However ostensibly different from us, he has the indisputable human core necessary for a truly moving character. His downfall's pathos is near-unbearable; it is hard to see a man so truly broken and heavily suffering. The play is valuable for showing the nadir to which people can sink, bringing out life's inherent tragedy with incredible force and emotion.

The story itself is also key. The original audience knew the Oedipus story well, and it has continued to be so famous that most will know a lot before reading, but Sophocles portrays it with such skillful mastery that it affected Athenians with mesmerizing power and continues to do so.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Colgan on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This product is extremely helpful when reading Oedipus. It is a fantastic version of the play.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laurie from Cleveland on January 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In case anyone would like to know I got this book and the cover is totally different from what is offered and is not appropriate for a kid to take to high school. It has a photorealistic man on the front with blood coming down one side of his face and dripping down his body. I had to return it and try to find another one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K.A.Goldberg on January 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Sophocles ancient classic engrips and horrifies the reader with a tragic tale of fate and horror. Young Oedipus is destined to murder his father and marry his mother. So it is written. Eager to avoid the fickle hand of fate, his parents send young Oedipus away at early age to evade the inevitable, which of course, proves unavoidable. In addition to tragedy, this stunning classic from Ancient Greece asks that age-old question, "who am I?" This version provides useful annotations for readers. It gives away the ending, but how many first-timers don't already know it? We read this play freshman year in high school and struggled with certain parts, although naturally we grasped the ideas of fate, tragedy, and incest. A classic perhaps not for the faint-of-heart.
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