Oedipus the King

Oedipus the King : A New Translation

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Among the most celebrated plays of ancient Athens, Oedipus the King 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 Robert Bagg. Praised by Aristotle as the pinnacle of Greek drama, Oedipus the King is the ancient world's most shocking and memorable tragedy; the story of Thebes's resilient hero and his royal family brought to hellish ruin by fate, manipulation of the Olympian gods, and all-too-human weakness. This is Sophocles, vibrant and alive, for a new generation.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 14mm | 140.61g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • HarperPerennial
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0062132083
  • 9780062132086
  • 725,493

Back cover copy

Sophocles' most profound and celebrated play in a vivid and dynamic new translation by award-winning poet Robert Bagg

Oedipus the King remains, after 2,500 years, a shocking, suspenseful, and highly emotional drama in which a royal family is brought to hellish ruin by fate, an inscrutable god, and the kindness of a stranger.

Oedipus must find and destroy the murderer of his predecessor, King Laios, to rid Thebes of the plague caused by the killer's undetected and malignant presence. The play's headlong action resembles a tautly woven criminal investigation, but one whose immense stakes pose a host of wrenching and still unresolved questions: What constitutes human guilt? Why do gods punish the innocent? What are the limits of human intellect? Why do family bonds so often prove destructive?

Robert Bagg's spare, idiomatic, and nuanced translation is ideally suited for reading, teaching, or performing. This is Sophocles for a new generation.
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About Sophocles

Robert Bagg is the author of five books of poetry, including Madonna of the Cello, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Prix de Rome, Guggenheim, Rockefeller, NEA, and NEH fellowships have supported his projects. Bagg's translations of Euripides and Sophocles have been staged in more than 60 productions worldwide.
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Rating details

136,195 ratings
3.67 out of 5 stars
5 24% (32,117)
4 34% (46,068)
3 31% (42,476)
2 9% (12,463)
1 2% (3,071)
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