Synopses & Reviews
Faithful as translations and vigorous and straightforward both to read and to act, these versions were written, like their originals, for immediate staage-production.
Kitto has deliberately used a fairly strict meter, allowing himself no greater number of verses than Sophocles used, and where the original is formal--as in the line-by-line dialogue--the translations too are formal. The original rhythmic structure of the lyrics has been approximately represented; in the Antigone the lyric passages have been followed as closely as the English language permits.
Quasi-musical indications of tempo or mood have been added to the lyrical portions as a reminder that they were not recited but were a fusion of poetry, music, and dancing. There are brief notes on the dance-rhythms, on the pronunciation of Greek names, and on the mythological allusions in the three plays.
Love and loyalty; hatred and revenge; fear, deprivation and political ambition: the motives which thrust the characters portrayed in these three Sophoclean tales onto their collision course with catastrophe. Each demonstrates Sophocles' innovation - the development of the central tragic figure.
This volume contains three masterpieces by the Greek playwright Sophocles, widely regarded since antiquity as the greatest of all the tragic poets. The vivid translations, which combine elegance and modernity, are remarkable for their lucidity and accuracy, and are equally suitable for reading for pleasure, study, or theatrical performance. The selection of Antigone, Oedipus the King, and Electra not only offers the reader the most influential and famous of Sophocles' works, it also presents in one volume the two plays dominated by a female heroic figure, and the experience of the two great dynasties featured in Greek tragedy--the houses of Oedipus and Agamemnon.
Includes bibliographical references (p. xxxix-xliii).