Aristotle called "Oedipus The King," the second-written of the three Theban plays written by Sophocles, the masterpiece of the whole of Greek theater. Today, nearly 2,500 years after Sophocles wrote, scholars and audiences still consider it one of the most powerful dramatic works ever made. Freud sure did. The three plays--"Antigone," "Oedipus the King," and "Oedipus at Colonus"--are not strictly a trilogy, but all are based on the Theban myths that were old even in Sophocles' time. This particular edition was rendered by Robert Fagles, perhaps the best translator of the Greek classics into English.
From Library Journal
This is not really a translation but, as Spender calls it, a "version" of Sophocles's three Theban plays. These disparate plays, composed over 40 years, are rendered here as if a trilogy. One wonders to what purpose: ostensibly so that they may be performed in a single evening. Such conflation results in inevitable contradictions, which Spender seeks to exploit rather than suppress. But do necessary cuts and transpositions revive the Theban story? If each play suffers, Sophoclean themes and symbols are perhaps highlighted: humans as measurers and measured; blindness and sight; family versus city. The answer finally lies in the poetry. Written to be spoken, Spender's dialogue has vigor but his odes soften metaphors drastically, prettifying Sophocles. Stephen Scully, Classical Studies Dept., Boston Univ.
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