The Complete Plays of Sophocles: A New Translation

This new translation was composed especially with contemporary, twenty-first century readers in mind, bringing Sophocles’ works to life for a new generation.

Sophocles was the dominant Athenian playwright of the fifth century BCE. His best-known work, the three-play Oedipus cycle (Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Kolonos, and Antigone), traces three generations of a family ravaged by the inscrutably vindictive god Apollo, who manipulates his victims into committing unforgivable acts of incest, patricide, and kin murder. In Elektra and the Women of Trakhis Sophocles portrays two women who act righteously to save themselves and support those they love, yet do so in ways that betray and diminish their own humanity. In his less familiar but riveting war-zone dramas, Philoktetes andAias, Sophocles works through the political and moral crises of war-weary, traumatized soldiers—a fact of life not only for the Trojan War-era protagonists of these plays but for war veterans and their families in Sophocles’ Athens. All are caught up in situations we recognize—including the feeling of being played by powers beyond our control. The effectiveness and timeliness of Sophocles’ dramas depend on translations such as these to resonate, intellectually and emotionally, with a contemporary audience. For a new generation entering the turbulent arena of ancient Greek drama, translators Robert Bagg and James Scully have produced a vivid, dynamic, and eminently readable translation in The Complete Plays of Sophocles.





Robert Bagg is the author of five books of poetry, including Madonna of the Cello, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Prix de Rome, Guggenheim, Rockefeller, NEA, and NEH fellowships have supported his projects. Bagg’s translations of Euripides and Sophocles have been staged in more than 60 productions worldwide.

James Scully has published 11 books of poetry, and three book-length translations. His first book of poems, The Marches, won the Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and fellowships from the NEA and the Ingram Merrill Foundation.
Classical, Translation
Harper Perennial

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