Synopses & Reviews
Sophocles (497/6406 BCE), with Aeschylus and Euripides, was one of the three great tragic poets of Athens, and is considered one of the world's greatest poets. The subjects of his plays were drawn from mythology and legend. Each play contains at least one heroic figure, a character whose strength, courage, or intelligence exceeds the human normbut who also has more than ordinary pride and self-assurance. These qualities combine to lead to a tragic end.
Hugh Lloyd-Jones gives us, in two volumes, a new translation of the seven surviving plays. Volume I contains Oedipus Tyrannus (which tells the famous Oedipus story), Ajax (a heroic tragedy of wounded self-esteem), and Electra (the story of siblings who seek revenge on their mother and her lover for killing their father). Volume II contains Oedipus at Colonus (the climax of the fallen hero's life), Antigone (a conflict between public authority and an individual woman's conscience), The Women of Trachis (a fatal attempt by Heracles' wife to regain her husband's love), and Philoctetes (Odysseus's intrigue to bring an unwilling hero to the Trojan War).
Of his other plays, only fragments remain; but from these much can be learned about Sophocles' language and dramatic art. The major fragmentsranging in length from two lines to a very substantial portion of the satyr play The Searchersare collected in Volume III of this edition. In prefatory notes Lloyd-Jones provides frameworks for the fragments of known plays.
Hugh Lloyd-Jones gives us a new translation of the seven surviving plays of Sophocles. The facing Greek is the corrected version of the Oxford Classical Text edited by Hugh Lloyd-Jones and Nigel Wilson (1990). Volume I contains "Oedipus Tyrannus, Ajax," and "Electra."
Sophocles (497/6-406 BC), the second of the three great tragedians of Athens and by common consent one of the world's greatest poets, wrote more than 120 plays. Only seven of these survive complete, but we have a wealth of fragments, from which much can be learned about Sophocles' language and dramatic art. This volume presents a collection of all the major fragments, ranging in length from two lines to a very substantial portion of the satyr play The Searchers. Prefatory notes provide frameworks for the fragments of the known plays. Many of the Sophoclean fragments were preserved by quotation in other authors; others, some of considerable size, are known to us from papyri discovered during the past century. Among the lost plays of which we have large fragments, The Searchers shows the god Hermes, soon after his birth, playing an amusing trick on his brother Apollo; Inachus portrays Zeus coming to Argos to seduce Io, the daughter of its king; and Niobe tells how Apollo and his sister Artemis punish Niobe for a slight upon their mother by killing her twelve children. Throughout the volume, as in the extant plays, we see Sophocles drawing his subjects from heroic legend.
Sophocles (497/6-406 BCE), considered one of the world's greatest poets, forged tragedy from the heroic excess of myth and legend. Seven complete plays are extant, including Oedipus Tyrannus, Ajax, Antigone, and Philoctetes. Among many fragments that also survive is a substantial portion of the satyr drama The Searchers.
About the Author
Emeritus Regius Professor of Greek, <>Oxford, Hugh Lloyd-Joneswas knighted in 1989.
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