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ARGUMENT. To Laius, King of Thebes, an oracle foretold that the child born to him by his queen Jocasta would slay his father and wed his mother. So when in. The Theban Plays. Oedipus the King. Oedipus at Colonus. Antigone. Translated, with Notes and an Introduction by Ruth Fainlight and Robert J. Littman. Three Theban plays. So Copy 1 1 DATE DUE 1 PRINT So SOPHOCLES Three cl Theban plays. — Copy 1 •: t Digitized by the Internet Archive in.

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Prompt. Do you believe that our lives are pre- destined? Do you believe the idea that whatever will be will be, that fate rules all that happens to us? Or, do you. SOPHOCLES. THE THEBAN PLAYS. KING OEDIPUS. OEDIPUS AT COLONUS. ANTIGONB. TRANSLATED BY E. F. WATLING. PENGUIN BOOKS. The Three Theban Plays: Antigone ; Oedipus the king ; Oedipus / Sophocles ; Translated by Robert Fagles ; Introductions and Notes by Bernard Knox.

Oedipus Tyrannus C. Then came Oedipus Tyrannus, probably staged after Athens had gone to war with the Spartan alliance and had been struck by a fearful plague. More than thirty years passed between the writing of the first and the last of these three plays, yet they are often read together. And why not? Do not think of them as a trilogy, however, for Sophocles did not write them to be performed together. They are not anything like the plays in the Oresteia of Aeschylus, which follow a distinct, tight chain of events from bloody beginning to peaceful resolution and were written to be seen together as presenting an almost continuous story in which one play shows the cause from which spring the actions of the next, and in which the final play brings the cycle to a resolution.

If we saw the Theban plays in the order of the stories they tell, we would not find—and should not look for—a similar chain of causes.

Each play is complete in itself, presenting the causes of its own action in its own terms. We would see Oedipus first as the mature ruler of Thebes Oedipus Tyrannus , a ruler with a terrible secret who is, at the same time, a man who takes pride in his talent for bringing what has been secret into the light.

Sophocles-antigone.pdf - Sophocles The Theban Plays Oedipus...

In the second play Oedipus at Colonus , we would see him as a homeless old man, reduced to begging for a place to sit—and die—on sacred ground near Athens, but also as a man who brings a blessing to the Athenians, a hero who will have the powers of a god.

And what brought this situation about? In itself, this is a splendid play, but it does nothing to resolve the family drama except to kill off most of its survivors. If these three stories have a resolution, it is in Oedipus at Colonus, but what this play resolves is far grander than the story of this family. Oedipus himself has become an enormously powerful figure in this last play: his presence throughout the action, seated on the forbidden ground he has chosen, which the gods have chosen for him, concentrates in one man great themes of the sacred and the profane, of the acceptance and denial of mystery, and of the violence that destroys peace and the violence that sustains it.

Perhaps some details from the plays would allow our seeing them in narrative order. Oedipus at Colonus, for example, alludes to the issue of burial. Also, the characters show some consistency across the plays. Oedipus is prone to explosions of fierce and fatal anger, as we see in the two plays that bear his name.

Antigone loves her brother in both of the plays in which she has a part. Both of the translators of this volume, however, want to emphasize the independence of these plays from one another. Each play stands alone, brilliantly. Sophocles seems to know intuitively that theatre is most gripping when it represents human action— people actually doing things they choose to do—rather than events that lie outside of choice.

That is why we see no deus ex machina here, no god brought in to force an ending on a play. The gods may be at work behind the scenes as the chorus believe , but what we see on stage has been, for the most part, brought about by human actions that we have also seen on stage.

Of the three great tragedians—Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles— Sophocles is closest to humanism in his way of writing plays, and this humanism leads him to construct discrete dramas that link human effects directly to human causes.

His devotion to the gods shows itself outside his plots: in the beauty of his choral lyrics, in the pious reserve with which he treats the actions of the gods, and in the dignity of his own extraordinary life. The first two sections of the Introduction present what is known about the life of Sophocles and the performance of ancient plays; those sections can be reasonably objective. The plays themselves call for a more personal response.

In introducing the three plays, one after the other, I have made no attempt to hide my own responses to them. You who read this book are probably not a scholar of Sophocles.

Neither am I.

The Theban Plays

What I know about the plays comes from many years of caring about them, as well as from an acquaintance with the scholarly literature. Neither of us has any reason to pretend to be objective. For my part, I have tried to distill for you the wisdom of the scholars without hiding my own opinions.

In reporting the points on which scholars disagree, I have tried to give you the tools and the impetus to form your own judgments on the main issues. For your part, I ask you to try to care about these plays, as well as about what the characters and the action mean to you. Argue about them with your friends. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world.

Sophocles, the Greek tragic dramatist, was born at Colonus near Athens about B. He was from a good family, well… More about Sophocles. Aristotle cites it as the best model for a tragic plot.

Join Reader Rewards and earn your way to a free book! Join Reader Rewards and earn points when you purchase this book from your favorite retailer. Watling Translated by E. Watling By Sophocles Introduction by E.

Watling Best Seller. Nonfiction Classics Literary Criticism History. Literary Collections Literary Criticism. Paperback —. Buy the Ebook: Add to Cart. Also by Sophocles.

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Inspired by Your Browsing History. Related Articles. Looking for More Great Reads?Looking for More Great Reads? See our Privacy Policy and User Agreement for details. The three-actor rule led to some interesting effects of doubling. Literary Collections Literary Criticism. Even about the surviving plays we do not know as much as we would like.

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Robert Fagless authoritative and acclaimed translation conveys all of. His attitude to the intellectual revolution of his time must have been complex. Performances were held in broad daylight in the Theatre of Dionysus on the southeast slope of the Acropolis in Athens.

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