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The Three Theban Plays: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Oedip... et plus d'un million d'autres livres sont disponibles pour le Kindle d'Amazon. En savoir plus
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The Three Theban Plays (Anglais) Broché – 7 février 1984

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Broché, 7 février 1984
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Free when packaged with any Damrosch World Literature title.

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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.

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In the sixth and fifth centuries before the birth of Christ an ancient civilization reached such heights of intellectual and artistic achievement that every succeeding period of Western culture, from the Roman Empire to the twentieth century, has been heavily in its debt, whether acknowledged or not. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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283 internautes sur 286 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Translations 19 mars 2006
Par S. Allen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Researching translations is never an easy task, and in this case, where you'll have to search on Amazon for the title and the translator to find what you want, it's particularly difficult.

Here's what I've found by comparing several editions:

1. David Grene translation: Seems to be accurate, yet not unwieldy as such. My pick. Language is used precisely, but not to the point where it's barely in English.

2. Fitts/Fitzgerald translation: Excellent as well, though a little less smooth than the Grene one. Certainly not a bad pick.

3. Fagles translation: Beautiful. Not accurate. If you are looking for the smoothest English version, there's no doubt that this is it. That said, because he is looser with the translation, some ideas might be lost. For instance, in Antigone, in the beginning, Antigone discusses how law compels her to bury her brother despite Creon's edict. In Fagles, the "law" concept is lost in "military honors" when discussing the burial of Eteocles. This whole notion of obeying positive law or natural law is very important, but you wouldn't know it from Fagles. In Grene, for example, it is translated to "lawful rites."

4. Gibbons and Segal: Looks great, but right now the book has only Antigone (and not the rest of the trilogy) and costs almost 3x as much. I'll pass. But, from a cursory review, I'm impressed with their work.

5. MacDonald: This edition received some good write-ups, but I wasn't able to do a direct passage-to-passage comparison.

6. Woodruff: NO, NO, NO. Just NO. It's so colloquial it makes me gag. Very accessible, but the modernization of the language is just so extreme as to make it almost laughable. You don't get any sense of the power of language in the play. You just get the story. If you want this to be an easy read, then get Fagles, not this.

7. Kitto: Looks good, though not particularly compelling over either Grene or Fitzgerald (or Gibbons if I wanted to pay so much more).

8. Roche: Practically unreadable the English is so convoluted. Might be the most literal translation, but what's the point unless you are learning Greek and want such a direct translation.

9. Taylor: Way too wordy. Might be more literal, but again, why?

Hope this all helps. Translations can make or break the accessibility of literature. Pick wisely.
72 internautes sur 77 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Great plays, very good translation, but... 18 février 2005
Par Christopher H. Hodgkin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
There's not much to say about these plays that hasn't been said over the last 2,500 years except, read them. More than once. More than twice.

As to the Fagles translation, as with most of his translations it is very smooth, almost lyrical, quite appealing. But he takes more liberties than I really like a translator to take. You are not reading as close as possible a rendition of what Sophocles actually wrote; rather, Fagles is somewhere between translation and retelling. For the average reader this may be fine, but don't think you're getting pure Sophocles, or as pure as is possible with a translation.

If all you want is an enjoyable read that is reasonably close to what Sophocles wrote, Fagles is fine. For more scholarly accuracy, try the translations by Greene, Fitzgerald, or Wyckoff. For a very good set of alternate translations which have as much fluidity as Fagles and a bit more faithfulness to the original, try the Fitts/Fitzgerald translations.

One benefit to the Fagles translation is the introductions by Knox, which are excellent (nearly as good as his superb introduction to Fagles' Odyssey).

One detriment, for me, is that the volume presents the plays in the order they were written, not in the order of the (relatively) unified story which they present. (It's sort of like reading Shakespeare's Henry VI plays before his Henry IV and V plays; that's the order he wrote them in, but the Henry V and VI plays make more sense if you've read the Henry IV plays first.) I accept that Sophocles didn't write these as a trilogy (as many Greek play sets were), but still, I think for the reader previously unfamiliar with them or their history and simply reading them in the order presented (perhaps a reader who doesn't start by reading all the introductions, but plunges straight into the plays), I think it's a bad decision.

All in all, a fine choice of a translation, but not the only fine choice. But definitely read these plays, choosing whatever translation you prefer (unless, of course, you can read them in the original Greek!)
20 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Translation isn't transliteration 16 décembre 2008
Par Kerry Walters - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I try to reread Sophocles every few years, both because I enjoy him and because I find him a moral tonic. Since I can only haltingly stumble through his Greek, I always read translations, and I read a different translation each time.

When one reads a translated literary work, one is reading a piece of literature that, in a manner of speaking, is "co-authored." Translation isn't, can't, and oughtn't to be a mechanically isomorphic transliteration of the original text. Translators--good ones, anyway--are artists in their own right. The choices they make in deciding how best to render the original text reflects not only their own creative sensitivity, but also their cultural context. Different translators, because of the variability of their temperaments, talents, and times, focus on different inflections. (In this regard, they're not unlike stage directors, who also "co-author" the plays they present.) So one never reads Sophocles, unless one reads the original Greek. One always reads Fagles' Sophocles, or Fitzgerald's Sophocles, or X's Sophocles.

I think Fagles and Sophocles make a marvelous collaboration. In fact, I like this translation better than any other I've read over the past half-century (and I've liked some others very much). Fagles has the soul of a poet (his volume of poems, I, Vincent, is very good indeed), and his rendering of "Antigone" and "Oedipus the King" are especially fine. Like all translators, he has a spin that mirrors the fears and hopes of his own time. In Fagles' case, it's what the existentialists would call nausea or anxiety over the absurd contingency of existence. For example, Oedipus the King [1442], after learning of his unhappy fate:

...the agony! I am agony--
where am I going? where on earth?
where does all this agony hurl me?
where's my voice?
winging, swept away on a dark tide--
My destiny, my dark power, what a leap you made!

What more could one ask of a translator than that s/he remain loyal to the ancient text being interpreted while rendering it in such a way as to speak to contemporary readers? For translators aren't transliterators or transcribers. They're not secretaries. They're artists.
23 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
GREAT Version! 25 mai 2003
Par Brian B - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
There are a few versions of the Three Theban Plays out there for you to buy, but this is the one I most highly recommend. And it all comes down to a key word: translation.
I really like the work that Robert Fagles does on his translations. They are easy to read, fluid, and still manage to be poetic. There's a lot of work put into these pages, and it shows.
For work or for pleasure, The Three Theban Plays is an important part of dramatic history that everyone should read. If you're reading it, read it the best way that you can. Get this translation, and get it now.
21 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent translation 21 juin 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
In my Grade 12 English class, we studied both Oedipus Rex and Antigone. However, the translation we used was markedly inferior to this one, which I found halfway through the course in a used book store. Fagles has managed to retain Sophocles's original spirit while using modern English idioms and grammar. I highly recommend it.
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