The Theban Plays: King Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone

Author(s): Sophocles; E. F. Watling (Translator, Introduction by)


The legends surrounding Oedipus of Thebes and his ill-fated offspring provide the subject matter for Sophocles' three greatest plays, which together represent Greek drama at the pinnacle of its achievement. Oedipus the King, the most famous of the three, has been characterized by critics from Aristotle to Coleridge as the perfect exemplar of the art of tragedy, in its unforgettable portrayal of a man's failed attempt to escape his fate. In Oedipus at Colonus, the blind king finds his final release from the sufferings the gods have brought upon him, and Antigone completes the downfall of the House of Cadmus through the actions of Oedipus's magnificent and uncompromising daughter defending her ideals to the death. All three of The Theban Plays, while separate, self-contained dramas, draw from the same rich well of myth and showcase Sophocles' enduring power. Translated by David Grene. (Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)


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Sophocles was born in 496 BC. His long life spanned the rise and decline of the Athenian Empire. He wrote over a hundred plays, many of which are published as Penguin Classics, drawing on a wide and varied range of themes. E.F. Watling translated a range of Greek and Roman plays for Penguin, including the seven plays of Sophocles and the tragedies of Seneca.

The Theban legend; "King Oedipus"; the legend continued; "Oedipus at Colonus"; the legend continued; "Antigone"; notes to "King Oedipus"; notes to "Oedipus at Colonus"; notes to "Antigone".

General Fields

  • : 9780140440034
  • : Penguin Books
  • : Penguin Books
  • : 0.141
  • : December 1963
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Sophocles; E. F. Watling (Translator, Introduction by)
  • : Sophocles; E. F. Watling (Translator, Introduction by)
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 882/.01
  • : very good
  • : 168
  • : Drama texts, plays