Aias : A New Translation

3.92 (3,140 ratings by Goodreads)
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Among the most celebrated plays of ancient Athens, Aias is one of seven surviving dramas by the great Greek playwright, Sophocles, now available from Harper Perennial in a vivid and dynamic new translation by award-winning poet James Scully. Still powerful and remarkably timely thousands of years after its creation, Aias is the moving story of a soldier returning home victorious from the Trojan War, only to discover he has lost his life's purpose. This is Sophocles, vibrant and alive, for a new generation.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 135 x 203 x 9mm | 163g
  • HarperPerennial
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New, Translation
  • 0062132148
  • 9780062132147
  • 1,826,312

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Back cover copy

A suspenseful and necessary new translation of Sophocles' provocative drama that demystifies the death of a warrior and challenges the civic value of Greece's heroic legacy

Achilles is dead. Aias, Greece's next greatest warrior, should inherit his armor, but Agamemnon and Menelaos award it to Odysseus. Enraged, Aias sets out to kill them all, but Athena deludes him into slaughtering the war spoil of the Greek army: defenseless sheep, goats, oxen, and herdsmen. When Aias realizes what he has done, his shame is irremediable. His only recourse is one final, desperate act that will leave all who depended on him to fend for themselves. In place of a heroic ethos in which everyone relies on one towering individual, the survivors embrace a social ethos based on the interdependence of all--including, here, a speechless child.

In this masterful translation, James Scully puts readers and actors in touch with the performative dynamism of the drama, which resonates with issues crucial to our own time. This rendering enables the emotions and arguments of Sophocles' era to register on the pulse of a contemporary audience.
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About Sophocles

James Scully has published 11 books of poetry, and three book-length translations. His first book of poems, The Marches, won the Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and fellowships from the NEA and the Ingram Merrill Foundation.
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Rating details

3,140 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 32% (1,012)
4 35% (1,108)
3 26% (810)
2 6% (178)
1 1% (32)
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