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Sophocles: Four Tragedies


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Table of Contents

The Priorities of this Translation Introduction to Sophocles and Greek Tragic Theatre Note on Text, Spellings, Stage Directions, etc. List of Maps Oedipus the King Introduction Translation Aias Introduction Translation Philoctetes Introduction Translation Oedipus at Colonus Introduction Translation Notes Select Biblography

About the Author

Oliver Taplin is Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Oxford, where he was for thirty-five years, Tutorial Fellow at Magdalen College. The leading recurrent theme of his work has been the reception of poetry and drama through performance and material culture, in both ancient and modern times. As well as his academic work, he has been involved in broadcasting and theatre, both within and beyond the UK. Productions on which he has collaborated include the Oresteia (1981-2, dir. Peter Hall), The Thebans (1992, dir. Adrian Noble), the Oresteia (1999-2000, dir. Katie Mitchell), and Swallow Song (2004 and 2006 dir. Lydia Koniordou). Sophocles, born in the 490s BC, was a leading ancient Greek dramatist who composed as many as 120 plays in his long lifetime, although only seven survive. He entered and won many of the dramatic competitions held in honour of Dionysus, and was also a prominent public figure in the Athens of his day.


Rendered with uncanny clarity and intrinsic energy, the translation shows great patience, ingenuity, and learning in the capturing of the Greek original. It is lucid, smooth, elegant, and musical, captivating readers instantly. * Choice *
Impressive and accessible... The dramatic, thematic and rhetorical thrust of Sophocles' writing is now better served by Taplin. * Times Literary Supplement, Jon Hesk *
Taplin has produced a learned, thoughtful and detailed exploration of the plays ... his search for voice and balance, his enthusiasm for the task and material and, not least, the humour, that can be found throughout this admirable text. * David Matthews, Classics for All *
readable, humorous and varied translation most certainly worth the price of admission. * PRN Magazine *

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