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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The Theban Plays, by Sophocles, tr. Robert Fagles | Occasional Mumbling

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, antiigone a single poem surviving to a point where all the rules of poetry it followed have become unknown.

Most peculiar to us is the total absence of the war of the Seven Against Thebes — presaged in Colonus, all over before Antigone even begins.

You are commenting using your Facebook account. His hubris has no influence on things, and acts only to ironically highlight the tragedy that we know is coming. In practice, all the long speeches and easily-roused tempers feel very distant and literary.

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. He is a pragmatist, and he cares about measurable things. Perhaps Oedipus translateed not meant to be seen as wholly rational at this point. 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.

Sophocles’ Antigone

Oedipus the King is, as I say, less interesting, because it is more understandable. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: This is even more the case at Oedipus at Colonus, where pages at a time are wasted in lamenting the unutterable abomination of incest.

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The two central characters — Faglew and Antigone — both present compelling cases, yet both are also wholly antigome. If that conclusion has a flaw, it is that the crimes related no longer seem so horrific as they did to Sophocles, and thus the punishment seems less merited.

This site uses cookies. Oedipus — and Athens — seem to revel in the self-caused nature of their downfall. They are all parts of the same story but each stands alone — and this is possible because the audience knew the story already. In her implacable universalism, her religious fanaticism, she is the most selfish character in the play.

Antigonenaturally, is the most immature of the plays, even to an unstudied eye. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Email Address never made public. Two last things to say. Oedipus, however, is quite a different man from Jesus, and his powers will be used differently: If you see what I mean, sort of. 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.

Every step of the tragedy is made by humans acting from free will. The argument that they should have followed him into exile is rather stronger, but still seems incongruous — this Oedipus, this Oedipus who spends the play forcefully asserting his innocence, the injustice of his punishment for actions that were not his fault, that were decided before his birth, seems a strange match to an Oedipus who curses his sons to death for not allowing that punishment to extend another generation.

Sophocles brings faglex ancient myths into his own age with a terrible acuity.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here But this is not that sort of tragedy — nobody punishes Oedipus. Again, the plot is an unusual one — the main character gradually discovers that he has murdered his father and had children with his mother.


The Theban Plays, by Sophocles, tr. Robert Fagles

It is only because Laius is journeying in a small party to gain wisdom from an oracle that he meets, attacks, and is killed by Oedipus. Oedipus is, frankly, Jesus by this point.

They are great works to quote, but less good to read. But ronert 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. Are we meant to understand why Oedipus curses his sons?

The entire plot is mysterious to us — the mystical power that will be gained by the corpse of Oedipus once it is buried, and the importance of burying it in one place or another. Contrast the passion and concern shown by Haemon and Ismene toward her with her own antigohe toward them. Oedipus the King is probably the least interesting of the three but the most readable.

The Three Theban Plays

It has a frightening absurdity to it. Here, Sophocles is rather fonder of high melodrama, roobert literary allusions some now lost on usof people going around shouting a lot, and of long and flowery speeches. Nor is it really a tragedy. OK, a modern reader might say, get over it. Notify me of new comments via email. And so much also is lost without the context of their society — the meanings of things, the importance of things.