Oedipus at Kolonos

Oedipus at Kolonos : A New Translation

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The second chapter of Sophocles' spellbinding saga explores a fallen hero's redemption, as the aged king Oedipus surrenders himself to the will of the gods. Oedipus is an old man finally coming to terms with the terrible actions of his earlier life. Blind by his own hand and exiled from Thebes, Oedipus has been driven to Athens, where a prophesy has foretold of his death. As he struggles to accept his fate, he also questions his guilt in his past crimes - transgressions manipulated by the will of the gods. With war now raging over his succession, Oedipus must make his final decision alone - to greet his death in the grove of the Furies, bowing to destiny at last, or to flee from fate once again, rejecting the absolution of the gods.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 132.08 x 198.12 x 12.7mm | 158.76g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • HarperPerennial
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062132105
  • 9780062132109
  • 2,096,505

Back cover copy

A soaring new translation of Sophocles' final masterpiece in which blind and homeless Oedipus reclaims his stature as Athenian drama's greatest hero

Produced after his death, Oedipus at Kolonos is Sophocles' final play and the last play in the Oedipus cycle. In it he explores anew the meaning of guilt and innocence, family loyalty and love, Athens' greatness, a hero's value after death, and the power of inscrutable gods to enhance all aspects of human life, including a hero's dying moments.

Oedipus finds his way, guided by his daughter Antigone, to the grove of the Furies near Athens, where Apollo has promised he will meet an extraordinary fate. As war brews in Thebes between his two sons, King Theseus befriends and welcomes Oedipus to Athens. Suddenly his daughter Ismene arrives with alarming news: the Thebans plan to abduct him. Treacherous Kreon tries just that. Then his desperate son Polyneikes, who earlier betrayed his father, begs Oedipus to bless him so he may defeat his brother and recapture Thebes. Oedipus and Theseus repulse both villains. The voice of Zeus then resoundingly summons Oedipus into the Furies' grove to meet his gentle and mysterious death, described by Sophocles in soaring and uncanny poetry.

This compelling new translation by Robert Bagg, modern in idiom while faithful to the original, brings Sophocles to 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

7,670 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 28% (2,166)
4 31% (2,404)
3 31% (2,385)
2 8% (614)
1 1% (101)
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