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The Complete Aeschylus: Volume I: The Oresteia (Greek Tragedy in New Translations) 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199753635
ISBN-10: 0199753636
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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Complete Aeschylus: Volume I: The Oresteia (Greek Tragedy in New Translations)
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  • The Complete Aeschylus: Volume II: Persians and Other Plays (Greek Tragedy in New Translations)
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  • The Complete Sophocles: Volume I: The Theban Plays (Greek Tragedy in New Translations)
Total price: $38.58
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Burian is Professor of Classical and Comparative Literatures and Theater Studies at Duke University.Alan Shapiro is Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A winner of the prestigious Lila Wallace Reader's Digest award 1992-95, he is the author of several poetry collections, including Tantalus in Love, Song and Dance, and The Dead Alive Busy.
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Product Details

  • Series: Greek Tragedy in New Translations
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199753636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199753635
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.7 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These plays are among the founding documents of Western Civilization, dramatizing the movement from bloody tribal revenge to a community of justice based on law. A good translation is essential to understanding them, and these translations are good.

Compare the first lines of the Agamemnon from the older Lattimore version published by the University of Chicago:

"I ask the gods some respite from the weariness
of this watchtime measured by years I lie awake
elbowed upon the Atriedaes' roof dogwise to mark
the grand processionals of all the stars of night
burdened with winter and again with heat for men.
dynasties in their shining blazoned on the air,
these stars, upon their wane and when the rest arise."

with the same lines from that of Alan Shapiro in this Oxford University Press volume:

"I beg the gods to deliver me at last
from this hard watch I've kept now for a year
upon the palace roof of the Atreidae,
dog-like, snout to paws, night after long
night, studying the congress of the stars,
the unignorable bright potentates
that bring down through the night sky to us here
below, the summer now, and now the winter,
eternal even as they wane and rise."

I don't know which version is more faithful to the original, although I understand that Ancient Athenian Greek is so different from Modern English that any attempt at translation is highly problematic, some would even say impossible. Still, most of us aren't going to learn Ancient Greek, so if we are to read these plays at all we need translations, approximate as they may be.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best translation I've read of The Oresteia. It's very readable. There is an excellent Introduction that recounts the background of the story, the Translator's discussion of how he dealt with the issues of turning classical Greek into modern English and Notes at the end that give detailed explanations of various passages. All in all, this is excellent.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The purpose of this translation is to make the book more relevant to the modern reader. This is the only translation I've yet read. I bought this one because I loved the Sophocles translation in the same series. This is by different translators and I didn't find it quite as engaging, but still enjoyed it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Superb translation that conveys the drama of the original in accomplished English that is not stilted or contrived.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read these, do good things.
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