The Theban Plays

The Theban Plays

By (author) , Introduction by , Translated by


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The legends surrounding the royal house of Thebes inspired Sophocles to create a powerful trilogy of mankind's struggle against fate. "King Oedipus" tells of a man who brings pestilence to Thebes for crimes he doesn't realise he has committed, and then inflicts a brutal punishment on himself. It is a devastating portrayal of a ruler brought down by his own oath. "Oedipus at Colonus" provides a fitting conclusion to the life of the aged and blinded king, while "Antigone" depicts the fall of the next generation through the conflict between a young woman ruled by her conscience and a king too confident in his own authority.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 14mm | 140.61g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • notes
  • 0140440038
  • 9780140440034
  • 16,624

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Review quote

[Oedipus the King] is Sophocles most famous play and the most celebrated play of Greek drama . . . Aristotle cites it as the best model for a tragic plot . . . Freud recognized the play s power to dramatize the process by which we uncover hidden truths about ourselves . . . Sophocles is more interested in how Oedipus pieces together the isolated fragments of his past to discover who and what he is and in tracing the hero s response to this new vision of himself. from the Introduction by Charles Segal"

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About Sophocles

Sophocles was born in 496 BC. His long life spanned the rise and decline of the Athenian Empire. He wrote over a hundred plays, many of which are published as Penguin Classics, drawing on a wide and varied range of themes. E.F. Watling translated a range of Greek and Roman plays for Penguin, including the seven plays of Sophocles and the tragedies of Seneca.

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