Antigone (Greek Tragedy in New Translations)

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9780195143102: Antigone (Greek Tragedy in New Translations)

Oedipus, the former ruler of Thebes, has died. Now, when his young daughter Antigone defies her uncle, Kreon, the new ruler, because he has prohibited the burial of her dead brother, she and he enact a primal conflict between young and old, woman and man, individual and ruler, family and state, courageous and self-sacrificing reverence for the gods of the earth and perhaps self-serving allegiance to the gods of the sky.
Echoing through western culture for more than two millennia, Sophocles' Antigone has been a touchstone of thinking about human conflict and human tragedy, the role of the divine in human life, and the degree to which men and women are the creators of their own destiny. This exciting translation of the play is extremely faithful to the Greek, eminently playable, and poetically powerful.
For readers, actors, students, teachers, and theatrical directors, this affordable paperback edition of one of the greatest plays in the history of the western world provides the best combination of contemporary, powerful language, along with superb background and notes on meaning, interpretation, and ancient beliefs, attitudes, and contexts.

"Sophocles' text is inexhaustibly actual. It is also, at many points, challenging and remote from us. The Gibbons-Segal translation, with its rich annotations, conveys both the difficulties and the formidable immediacy. The choral odes, so vital to Sophocles' purpose, have never been rendered with finer energy and insight. Across more than two thousand years, a great dark music sounds for us."
--George Steiner, Churchill College, Cambridge

"Produces a language that is easy to read and easy to speak.... Enthusiastically recommended."--Library Journal [Starred Review]

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From the Back Cover:

In his long life, Sophocles (born ca. 496 B.C., died after 413) wrote more than one hundred plays. Of these, seven complete tragedies remain, among them the famed Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. In Antigone, he reveals the fate that befalls the children of Oedipus.
Polynices, son of Oedipus, has led a rebellious army against his brother, Eteocles, ruler of Thebes. Both have died in single combat. When Creon, their uncle, assumes rule, he commands that the body of the rebel Polynices be left unburied and unmourned, and warns that anyone who tampers with his decree will be put to death.
Antigone, sister of Polynices, defies Creon's order and buries her brother, claiming that she honors first the laws of the gods. Enraged, Creon condemns her to be sealed in a cave and left to die. How the gods take their revenge on Creon provides the gripping denouement to this compelling, frequently performed  tragedy.

About the Author:


Reginald Gibbons is the author of nine volumes of poems, including Sparrow: New and Selected Poems, It's Time and Fern-Texts. With Charles Segal he has also translated Euripides' Bakkhai. He teaches at Northwestern University. The late Charles Segal was Walter C. Klein Professor of the Classics at Harvard University. His many books include Sophocles' Tragic World, Tragedy and Civilization: An Interpretation of Sophocles, and Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge.

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