The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus
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The heroic Greek dramas that have moved theatergoers and readers since the fifth century B.C.
Towering over the rest of Greek tragedy, the three plays that tell the story of the fated Theban royal family—Antigone, Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus—are among the most enduring and timeless dramas ever written. Robert Fagles's authoritative and acclaimed translation conveys all of Sophocles's lucidity and power: the cut and thrust of his dialogue, his ironic edge, the surge and majesty of his choruses and, above all, the agonies and triumphs of his characters. This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction and notes by the renowned classicist Bernard Knox.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
birth of the historical spirit; the human race awakened for the first time to a consciousness of its past and a tentative confidence in its future. The past came to be seen no longer as a golden age from which there had been a decline if not a fall, but as a steady progress from primitive barbarism to the high civilization of the city-state. One of the new teachers, the sophist Protagoras, was particularly associated with this idea; he wrote a book called The State of Things in the Beginning, and
office was: “Do you treat your parents well?” The law prescribed penalties for those who mistreated their parents, and we know of suits brought by parents against children for failure to provide support. Beyond the laws made by men, the all-seeing Furies, in front of whose grove Oedipus arraigns his son, stood ready to punish transgressors, if the law should fail. Oedipus does more than refuse to help Polynices capture Thebes; he prophesies disaster for the expedition. Impossible—you’ll never
I’ll tell you: the man I murdered—he’d have murdered me! I am innocent! Pure in the eyes of the law, blind, unknowing, I, I came to this! Enter THESEUS, with his royal guard, from the right. LEADER: Look, our king, Theseus, son of Aegeus— your message brought him here. THESEUS: In the old days I often heard your legend, the bloody mutilation of your eyes ... I know all about you, son of Laius. And now, seeing you at this crossroads, beyond all doubt I know you in the
OEDIPUS: What brazen gall! You’d stop at nothing! From any appeal at all you’d wring some twisted, ingenious justice of your own! Why must you attack me so, twice over, catching me in the traps where I would suffer most? First, in the old days, when I was sick to death with the horror of my life, when I lusted to be driven into exile, you refused that favor—for all my prayers. But then, when I’d had my fill of rage at last and living on in the old ancestral house seemed sweet ..
where I am destined to live on. CREON: I call these men—not you—to witness this, the abuse you fling in the teeth of loved ones!— and if I ever get my hands on you— OEDIPUS: And who could tear me away from these allies by force? CREON: I warn you, even without that, we have ways to make you suffer. OEDIPUS: By doing what?— what have you got behind your threats, your bluster? CREON: Your two children. One I’ve seized just now and sent her off—now I’ll take the