The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex / Oedipus at Colonus / Antigone
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The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex / Oedipus at Colonus / Antigone (The Theban Plays #1-3)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  34,968 ratings  ·  684 reviews
(1939 translation)
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 1st 2002 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1947)
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This Robert Fagles translation is beautiful--far superior to other versions I've read (Fitts/Fitzgerald or David Greene's, for instance). The language is vibrant and compelling, an important asset for reading drama on the page. If you've not read Sophocles since a forced-and-indifferent slog during high school, I'd encourage you to rediscover it in a better light with this translation. Highly recommended.

This was my first time reading all three "Oedipus plays" in succession, and I appreciated th...more
Justin Evans
So... not over-rated. Fagles' translation is solid, much clearer than his Aeschylus, though I actually prefer the opacity he brought to that text. Of course, that might have been in Aeschylus. I will never learn Greek well enough to tell.

Antigone was the earliest of these plays, though the last within the narrative. I can't help but read it with my Hegel glasses on: the clash between Creon and Antigone is an example of a failed conceptual grasp of the world, in which the claims on us of family/...more
So, what did we learn? Circle one

1. Embrace any prophecy, as fighting against it will only make it come true
2. Always give way to anyone playing chicken with you on the road
3. Stay in school and pay special attention to "riddles," because only smart people end up with a good career as a king
4. Don't marry the widows of any king, unless you have her DNA checked
5. If you accidentally marry your mother, don't tell her because she will hang herself
6. If you have two brothers, don't break the law in...more
Steven Peterson
The Theban plays are extraordinarily rich in their observations on the human condition; let us consider lessons to be drawn from these.

The first tragedy, King Oedipus, begins with the city of Thebes suffering great afflictions. King Oedipus swears that he will find the cause of the evil and improve the lot of the Thebans. His uncle, Creon, found that the pestilence would be lifted when the murderer of the previous king, Laius, was brought to justice. Oedipus immediately ordered that the killer...more
از جمله بهترین نمایشنامه هایی ست که از آن لذت برده ام.

Your Name: Julie Barnard
Date: 1/4/10

Main Characters in the Text (if there are multiple works within one text, name the work, followed by the characters):

Genre of the work (play, novel, poem, etc.):


Action of the work or the sequence of events (if there are multiple works within one text, name the work and only include the most important events):

Action sequences include when Oedipus kills the king of Thebes (without knowing he is the k...more
Ana Lo
King Oedipus

Your Name: Ana Lo
Date: 1/04/10

Main Characters in the Text (if there are multiple works within one text, name the work, followed by the characters):
• King Oedipus
o Oedipus
o Jocosta
o Teiresias
o Creon
o The Chorus
• Anigone
o Antigone
o Creon
o Ismene
o Haemon

Genre of the work (play, novel, poem, etc.):
- A Play

- The City of Thebes

Action of the work or the sequence of events (if there are multiple works within one text, name the work and only include the most im...more
Edward Waters
Most English translations of, say, the Greek New Testament are shepherded by a conviction that the original words had divine inspiration and so are best rendered verbatim wherever possible. At the same time, there generally is a concession (for good or ill) to the reality that if what results is not sufficiently lofty and reverential in tone, the faithful are unlikely to accept it. Attempts at classical Greek drama and poetry tend to be guided by rather different considerations: The translator's...more
Nicholas Whyte
Three Theban Plays: Antigone, Oedipus The Tyrant, Oedipus at Colonus (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) (Wordsworth Classics)… by Sophocles

This is the Wordsworth Classics edition of Antigone / Ἀντιγόνη, Oedipus the Tyrant / Οιδίπους Τύραννος and Oedipus at Colonus / Οἰδίπους ἐπὶ Κολωνῷ, all translated by Jamey Hecht. I took them fairly slowly, to let the blank verse translation sink gently into my mind.

I found Antigone / Ἀντιγόνη the most politicall...more
Steve Hemmeke
Really depressing.

The major theme is that you can't avoid the fate of the gods, even if you try. The upside is, even if you draw a short straw, you can still be pious and reverent toward the gods, and wise and loving to your family.

Oedipus definitely drew a short straw. That doesn't mean his life was short, though. He lives a long life, and the last decade or so is all agony over his bizarre circumstance.

In part one we learn about that craziness. Key theme is the truth. The truth will come out....more
Jeni Enjaian
I'll start this review by saying that I am definitely not the target audience. While I enjoy attending the occasional play and love Shakespeare, I find that reading most plays leaves something to be desired. That being said, I found this particular plays very limited in scope. Perhaps that's due to both the genre and the time in which they were written. The plot was incredibly easy to predict. (Although I suspect that even the mildest familiarity with Greek mythology will render the plots of the...more
به صورت صوتی؛ نمایشنامه‌ی صوتی شنیدم، حس می‌کنم بعضی ترک‌ها پس‌ و پیش بودند و شاید یک ترک هم کم داشت! نادانم! در حال دانلود مجدد هستم! که البته دانلود هم نمیشه!
بالتبع نظر خاصی هم ندارم
و من الله توفیق
David Withun
Sophocle's Theban Cycle, of course, contains three of the greatest plays ever written: Antigone, Oedipus Rex, and Oedipus at Colonus. There is little that can be said, in a short review like this one, that has not already been said about these plays. They are masterpieces of the human imagination which explore some of the perennial themes of human life: justice, death, destiny, truth, power, family, sin, redemption -- to name but a few. All of these plays are essential reading for any educated p...more
wow, these stories were awesome! much more interesting than when i read them in high school. i dont remember reading the third one - and that was the best one! jameys footnotes have some valuable contents, including some very powerful insights into the text.

i thought the shakespearean style was just perfect for these texts. sophocles seems to have an understanding of people and their relations on the same sublime level of shakespeare. would fit in perfectly beside king lear.
Cymru Roberts
Sophocles is a worthy successor to Aeschylus and his style of Greek Tragedy. The difference, for me, lies in the remarkable applicability Sophocles' plays have to life today. Where Aeschylus champions the solemn glory of immense themes, Sophocles transfers those themes to interpersonal relationships; and with this Oedipus trilogy, it's all about the family.

With Oedipus The King, I think the play suffers in reputation due to its ubiquity. Everyone knows the tale of the guy who slept with his mom...more
Czarny Pies
Although he wrote 2500 years ago, Sophocles remains the most contemporary of all known dramatists. Every generation feels Sophocles speaking to us. The Oedipus Cycle is a must read for anyone who loves literature.

Everyone has heard of Oedipus Rex due in part to Freud discovering the existence of an Oedipus complex in the males of our species. My favourite in the cycle is Antigone. I first encountered Antigone in Jean Anouilh's brilliant drama of the same name written in occupied France during WW...more
This collection focuses on three of Sophocles' plays: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. Each of these plays takes place in the city of Thebes and in some way are related to one another (Antigone through a more distant connection than the others). These are some of the few surviving works of literature from this era and they portray the beginnings of theater as entertainment. Here the chorus acts as an intermediary between the actors and the audience; they tell the audience essential...more
Essayed Taha
2400-years-old work .. and still shine as if it was written two weeks ago, brilliant, strong, and clear. he who never came across this piece once at least is no reader. what could have happened to the world if the Greek civilization never thrived?!
Armando Zarate
I really did no tlike this book. honestly it was boring, but i have to admit that it did have a good story line. it had a little action and the plot was full of regret, and guilt. basically, it was a good story, but boring and not of my taste.
Zoe Mark
I had to read this book for school. I have been dreading reading it for a long time, when I finally got the nerve to start it, it was not as bad as I thought it would be. In the book there are three plays that are all centered around Oedipus. The first play is about Oedipus and a prophecy he was told, the second play is about the aftermath of the prophecy and the third play his is about his daughter and what happens to her after everything has happened. I found the first play to be easy and fast...more
Andy Kovats
Jamey Hecht's superb translation of the Sophocles trilogy is by far the best one available. I read it with the greatest enjoyment. I highly recommend it.
Katie Coulter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fitts was my English teacher. He was an excellent teacher, and quite ruthless.

The plays are a joy.
The Oedipus Plays of Sophocles by Sophocles are about a man named Oedipus and the curse that is on his family. In Oedipus the King, Oedipus learns about the curse, in Oedipus at Colonus it is the aftermath of him discovering the curse, and Anitgone is about what happens to Oedipus's daughters Antigone and Ismene. I personally like the second two plays better than the first play. The plays were written in a way that it would have been better to read them aloud then read them silently. I read this...more
I looked at five different translations of Oedipus and liked this one the best... by far.
Azad PSG
ادیپوس: زمان، دوست من، زمان شکست ناپذیر در همه جا تاراج می‌کند.
زندگی بی زمان و بی مرگ از آنِ خدایان است. هر چیز دیگری نابود است. جوهر زمین غبار می‌شود. تن آدمی می‌میرد و مادام که پیمان‌ها می شکند دروغ سر می کشد. همدلی دوستی با دوست دیگر یا شهری با شهر دیگر ، جاودانه نیست و دیر یا زود دگرگون می شود. شادی به اندوه می انجامد و دگر بار اندوه به شادی. اکنون آسمان با شما و تِبای سرِ یاری دارد.اما در گردش زمان بسیار و بسیار شب ها و روزهاست.
در یکی از این ها شکافی ناچیز دهان می گشاید و ناگاه نوک شمشیری ا...more
If the intent was to arouse sympathy for Oedipus the author succeeded. For that I give the book five stars. It is admirable that Oedipus and his family tried to prevent what would be considered abominable to any generation. That they had no recourse against fate is, to me, the tragedy of this story.

I thought of the youth, back in this time period, who might have embraced this worldview.

"What should a man fear? It's all chance, chance rules our lives. ...Live Oedipus, as if there's no tomorrow!...more
If you haven't read all three of these back-to-back, you're truly missing out.
Each of these are wonderful in their own right; however, when you string them together more depth is added.

People shy away from the classical readings because they deem them boring and droll. The Three Theban Plays, are anything but that. This "trilogy" is one of the most angst filled, heart-wrenching reads there is.

What Antigone goes through is beyond any of our imaginations. The emotional turmoil and challenges she f...more
My translation, published by Wordsworth Editions.
Fabiola Fulco
Si en el caso de la Orestíada preferí la pieza central, esta vez voy a tener que inclinarme por la última. El papel de Antígona es divino por la calidad de sus parlamentos, hasta ahora es mi personaje femenino favorito de las tragedias griegas; Edipo me fascinó de igual forma por actitud tan dolida y soberbia. La relación que tienen padre/hija-hermano/hermana llega a conmover, son dos personajes que dan de qué hablar; pienso que es fácil identificarse con ellos.

La única razón por la que le doy...more
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Greek Plays are very epic 2 8 May 19, 2014 09:16PM  
conflict 5 40 Jun 13, 2012 07:58PM  
  • The Oresteia
  • Euripides 1: Alcestis/The Medea/The Heracleidae/Hippolytus
  • Lysistrata and Other Plays
  • The Rise and Fall of Athens: Nine Greek Lives
  • The Comedies
  • Theogony and Works and Days
  • Homeric Hymns
Sophocles (Greek: Σοφοκλής; German editions: Sophokles, Russian: Софокл) was an ancient Greek tragedy playwright. Not many things are known about his life other than that he was wealthy, well educated and wrote about one hundred and twenty three plays (of which few are extant). One of his best known plays is 'Oedipus the King' (Oedipus Rex).
More about Sophocles...
Oedipus Rex Antigone Antigone / Oedipus the King / Electra Oedipus at Colonus Electra

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“All men make mistakes.” 20 likes
“If through no fault of his own the hero is crushed by a bulldozer in Act II, we are not impressed. Even though life is often like this—the absconding cashier on his way to Nicaragua is killed in a collision at the airport, the prominent statesman dies of a stroke in the midst of the negotiations he has spent years to bring about, the young lovers are drowned in a boating accident the day before their marriage—such events, the warp and woof of everyday life, seem irrelevant, meaningless. They are crude, undigested, unpurged bits of reality—to draw a metaphor from the late J. Edgar Hoover, they are “raw files.” But it is the function of great art to purge and give meaning to human suffering, and so we expect that if the hero is indeed crushed by a bulldozer in Act II there will be some reason for it, and not just some reason but a good one, one which makes sense in terms of the hero’s personality and action. In fact, we expect to be shown that he is in some way responsible for what happens to him.” 18 likes
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