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Sophocles, The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone 1st Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 860-1234581772
ISBN-10: 015602764X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dudley Fitts (1903-1968), a renowned poet, critic and translator, authored and translated over 20 books. One of the preeminent twentieth century scholars of Greek literature, his English translations of the ancient Greek classics are much praised for their accessibility and their appeal to contemporary readers.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (November 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015602764X
  • ASIN: B002BWQ4XM
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I got this delivered to my Kindle only to find the books that it claims to be are not there. There is only a very brief synopsis of each book...don't waste you're time...they should pay you to put this on your device.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Remember the old records albums like "What if Mozart wrote the Beatles?" Well this antique translation was done in the style, "What if Shakespeare wrote Sophocles." Apparently the translator thought good drama should sound like Shakespeare, but the result is neither Sophocles nor Shakespeare and is generally awful.
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By A Customer on December 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a very readable rendition of Sophocles' famous tragedies, by two of this century's most distinguished classicists and translators. My only caution: I would not recommend this translation to anyone trying to muddle through the Greek. As Fitzgerald readily admits, he has emphasized general meaning, conciseness and readability over strict adherence to the text, paraphrasing the original where he feels it's appropriate. I'm usually wary of this approach, but in this case I feel it makes the plays more accessible to the general reader, and more performable, than they would otherwise be. The end result is a lively and true homage to a great playwright whose ideas have shaped modern literature, drama, and psycology.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everything from the product about this edition led me to believe I was ordering the Duddly Fitts --Robert Fitzgerald edition of the Oedipus Cycle when it is not. I have no idea who did the translation; the edition has no notes, no supplementary--nothing but this indifferent text of indeterminate origin. I am unhappy!
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Format: Paperback
Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald first published their excellent translation of "Antigone" in 1939. Having well stood the test of time, it is reprinted in their paperback, "The Oedipus Cycle." My reasons for liking this version better than recent translations by Don Taylor and Paul Roche appear in my Amazon review of the Taylor translation. Here I want to comment on the moral and human issues raised by the play itself, which make it superbly worth reading.

The tragedy begins with an act of civil disobedience by the king's niece, Antigone. It ends with the misery and suicide of Antigone, of Haemon (the king's son), and of Euridice (the queen), together with the utter despair of Creon (the king).

Just before her last exit, Antigone cries out: "But if the guilt Lies upon Creon who judged me, then, I pray, May his punishment equal my own." Her prayer is granted, within minutes of her own death. Declared guilty by the prophet, Teiresias, Creon is punished by the suicides of his son and his wife.

But who or what granted Antigone's prayer? Divine justice? The reader is more than ready to applaud punishment for Creon. But in this form? What have Haemon and Euridice done to deserve their fates? For that matter, what kind of justice condemns Antigone to a punishment equal to Creon's? If what she did was right, as Haemon and Teiresias insist, why punish her at all? Even if death is an unavoidable result of disobeying an unjust king, why isn't it noble and beautiful as hoped for, rather than miserable and shameful as experienced?

What went wrong?

The first move is Creon's: a decree that, under pain of death, no one may bury Polynices (his nephew and Antigone's brother), who has been killed making war against the city.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's all there when I downloaded it for a peek (July 2011). Another comment mentioned that there were two copies listed at one point, apparently one whole and one not.

Missing any linked (or even unlinked) TOC cripples this copy, though, so only three stars for you.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Vnlike other reviewers, I actually liked these translations. My Greek is pretty elementary, my experience with Sophocles in the original consisting of a single line from Oedipus Rex, so I can't speak for their accuracy, but I liked the translator's verse in its own right anyway. It isn't "trying to sound like Shakespeare" as some other reviewers have put it; the translator has simply adopted a high tragic style, with the ultimate English tragic poetic form (blank verse) and a few archaisms calling to mind, say, Pope's translations of Homer--all which could just as easily be linked to Marlowe, Milton, or Shelley. Be that as it may, however, this particular edition is crap. The weird typewriter-font one can get used to, but typographical errors abound, including the omission of entire words and, if I am not mistaken, in some cases entire lines (at one point in Oedipus at Colonus, Theseus responds to a question which Oedipus has not asked). For the most part, you can figure out what the text is supposed to say, but not always, and even when you can the misprints are pretty annoying. Overall, this edition is probably worth getting only if you want to keep things cheap.
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By A Customer on April 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a distinctly poetic translation of Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. It is both readable and enjoyable. We explored several versions in my English class, and Robert Fitzgerald does an excellent job constructing memorable lines and beautiful dialogue. If you want to read Sophocles, this is a good translation to choose.
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