The Three Theban Plays – Sophocles Translated by Robert Fagles with Notes on the Translation: Antigone, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus. Robert Fagles’ translation conveys all of Sophocles’ lucidity and power: the cut The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Oedip and millions of. In Meyer’s Bedford Introduction to Literature 8th editon, the Fagles translation, there are no marked or numbered scene breaks. See end of file for citing the play .

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If you see what I mean, sort of. Slowed down by over-long speeches, but the choral structure ensures that there is never any break, and just enough pause to raise the heartbeat of impatience.

Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. If he had been a worse man, his doom could have been avoided at any point. In faglws earlier two plays, this was frustrating; here, it rises to be the central characteristic of our impression of the play.

Maybe it is simply because both children lie, and both attempt to use their father at the end.

The Three Theban Plays

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: But at the same time, the penalty is far greater — in Homer, Oedipus is distraught but he remains king, while in Sophocles he rips out his own eyes and has himself sent into exile unto death. Nor is fagpes a curse of academic value only: It excells, however, in its construction — yes, there is still a degree of shouting and proclaiming, but it is much more under control than in Antigone.

Again, the plot is an unusual one — the main character gradually discovers that he has murdered his father and had children with his mother. It is only because Oedipus sends to, and then listens to, the oracle at Delphi, that he embarks on his investigation, the investigation that will end with his own exile and blinding. His voice is understandable translared too quick in temper, yes, and too afraid, but still a reasonable man with understandable, and even admirable, objectives — even if, like Antigone, his actual motivations do not live up to his pronouncements.


It is these two factors — the irresoluble conflict trqnslated two different ideological perspectives, each of which antigond frightens and attracts fagled, and underneath that the fundamental insincerity of the advocates both both positions — that make Antigone a strikingly modern play, or at least a strikingly modern idea for a play.

Sophocles’ Antigone

Antigone meanwhile, whether we take her at her word or look for deeper and more consistent reasons, is by the standards of Creon simply mad. The fates are implacable and merciless.

They are not a trilogy — they were written across a span of decades, bt little attempt at continuity, and the earliest written is set the latest in the story. People come, and people go, around the immobile Oedipus, and there seems little sense to it all, but the mystery adds to the awe; and at the heart of it, a man approaches his death.

The Theban Plays, by Sophocles, tr. Robert Fagles

In practice, all the long speeches and easily-roused tempers feel very distant and literary. Second, the notes, by Bernard Knox — these are good, and very useful in providing some context and depth though they sometimes get carried away. But this is not that translared of tragedy — nobody punishes Oedipus.

What can we appreciate? To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Email Address never made public. The idea of an Athenian army defeating a Theban one by the gift of Oedipus must have been a very dear dream at the time — Thebes had fought against Athens in the war, and argued strongly for its complete, punitive, annihilation in the peace, with only Sparta graciously allowing their sworn enemies to survive.


The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles | : Books

And yet at the same time Creon is also the voice of reason. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Reading these was a totally different experience for me.

They are all parts of the same story but each stands alone — and this is possible because the audience knew the story already. At the same time, it is in some ways the most interesting. Sophocles can hint at something, with a gesture that bears the full weight of his civilisation… and two and a half thousand years later, the hint remains, but the weight is gone, like a single poem surviving rranslated a point where all the rules of poetry it followed have become unknown.

This makes them very difficult — not to understand or to enjoy, but to really assess, with the confidence of somebody who knows antiigone they are looking for. Oedipus is, frankly, Anrigone by this point. The other way Antigone still speaks to us is, of course, ideology. Her system of values cannot be comprehended by Creon — she is adament in following the law of the gods regardless of the consequences, and wholly callously.

That is the basic strangeness of the play — Oedipus falls because he is so good a man.