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The Complete Plays of Sophocles : A New Translation - Robert Bagg

The Complete Plays of Sophocles

A New Translation

By: Robert Bagg, James Scully

eBook | 18 August 2023

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The most celebrated plays of ancient Athens in vivid, dynamic new translations by award-winning poets Robert Bagg & James Scully.

The dominant Athenian playwright in fifth-century BCE Athens, Sophocles left us seven powerful dramas that still shock as they render the violence that erupts within divinity and humankind. Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Kolonos, and Antigone trace three generations of a family manipulated by the inscrutably vindictive god Apollo to commit patricide, incest, and kin murder. Elektra and Women of Trakhis begin as studies of women obsessed with hatred and desire but become dissenting critiques of the Greeks' enthusiasm for revenge and ego-crazed heroics. Two hard-hitting dramas set in war zones, Aias and Philoktetes, use conflicts among Greek warriors at Troy to thrash out political and ethical crises confronting Athenian society itself.

These translations, modern in idiom while faithful to the Greek and already proven stageworthy, preserve depth and subtlety of Sophocles' characters and refresh and clarify his narratives. Their focus on communities under extreme stress still resonates deeply for us here and now. This is Sophocles for a new generation entering the turbulent arena of ancient Greek drama.

Praise for The Complete Plays of Sophocles

"Bagg's Oedipus plays and Scully's remarkable Aias are as finely wrought as one could desire, but they have a spare impact which gets across the moment-by-moment emotion of the plays, and makes plain the moral or political themes." —Richard Wilbur, former U.S. Poet Laureate, winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize

"Bagg and Scully's renderings strike me as the most performable versions of Sophocles I've ever encountered . . . if you're looking for the translation that best reflects the emotional force and expressive range of the original plays, you would be hard pressed to do better." —Philadelphia Inquirer

Industry Reviews
"Bagg and Scully's renderings strike me as the most performable versions of Sophocles I've ever encountered...if you're looking for the translation that best reflects the emotional force and expressive range of the original plays, you would be hard pressed to do better."
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