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The Seven Plays

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  3,051 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
The dominant Athenian playwright in 5th-century-BCE Athens, Sophocles left us seven powerful dramas that still shock as they render the violence that erupts within divinity & humankind. Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Kolonos & Antigone trace three generations of a family manipulated by the inscrutably vindictive god Apollo to commit patricide, incest & kin murder ...more
Kindle Edition
Published January 6th 2010 by Halcyon Classics (first published January 1st 1890)
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Alex
Sep 16, 2011 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are all set with ever hearing "Thy" again.
Shelves: 2016, 2016-bingo
Aristotle thought Sophocles the best of the Greek tragedians, and Oedipus the King the perfect tragedy. Sophocles wrote complicated, powerful plays - seven of them have survived, out of 120. He wrote about outcasts. My favorite, Antigone, is about fighting the power, and so is Elektra. Robert Bagg and James Scully run down his common themes in their intro to this complete edition:

- Sympathy for fate's victims
- Hostility towards tyrants
- Skepticism toward self-indulgent "heroes"
- Disillusionment
...more
Guillermo Jiménez
Por alguna razón que no me explico, sentí la imperiosa necesidad de releer Antígona. Quizá fue alguna referencia directa en alguna película u otro libro. Algún eco.

Cuando agarré el tomo completo de Tragedias de Sófocles y comencé a leer Antígona, me propuse releer todas y leer por primera vez Áyax.

Fue un muy agradable viaje. En más de un sentido: mientras recordaba al Guillermo que leyó por primera vez a Sófocles en los primeros semestres de Letras, descubría que recordaba muy poco, no ya de lo
...more
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
I finished this new volume of translations of the seven existing plays by Sophocles last night. I unhesitatingly recommend this new work of the translators, Robert Bagg and James Scully, as they really did an outstanding job of presenting these powerful dramas with lyricism and impact. For your information, I am providing a list of the plays in the collection and the primary translator--
Aias (James Scully)
Women of Trakhis (Robert Bagg)
Philoktetes (James Scully)
Elektra (Robert Bagg)
Oedipus the Ki
...more
Rosa
Feb 03, 2013 Rosa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aias - 3 Stars
Women of Trakhis - 5 Stars
Philoktetes - 4 Stars
Elektra - 4 Stars
Oedipus the King - 4 Stars
Oedipus at Kolonos - 5 Stars
Antigone - 5 Stars

A beautiful, simple translation. I only wish more than 7 of Sophocles' 125 plays had survived.
John Pistelli
Oct 27, 2015 John Pistelli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, favorites, ancient
It is never a bad time to get right with the classics. After having read Oedipus and Antigone several times in multiple translations (Jebb, Arnott, Fagles) over the years, I decided to read all of Sophocles’s extant plays—a mere seven out of 123 (civilization is fragile; don’t let anyone tell you differently).

I am here reading the version by poet and translator Paul Roche for Signet Classics. According to Wikipedia, Roche was a second-generation Bloomsberrie, enemy to Vanessa Bell and lover of
...more
Omar BaRass
Oct 09, 2012 Omar BaRass rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ليست هذه قراءة حقيقية لسوفوكليس. ولكن نتيجة لقراءة عدة كتب للأدب الإغريقي كان اهتمامي يتزايد أكثر فأكثر لرائعة سوفوكليس "أوديب الملك" تلك المسرحيةالتي كتبت بعناية عظيمة وبقدر رهيب من الدقة،حيث لو أن فعل واحد لم يحدث لما اكتملت بذور المأساة فيها. القراءةمخصصة لتاريخ لعنة النسب


حدث مرة أن كانت أوروبا ابنة أجينور ملك صور تتمدد على شاطيء البحر حينما اقترب منها ثور أبيض، فاستأنسته وأخذت تداعبه حتى اختطفها الثور نحو جزيرة كريت. لم يكن هذا الثور سوى زيوس متنكرًا حالما تنبه لجمال أوروبا وأرادها لنفسه.
لم
...more
Anders
Sep 06, 2015 Anders rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like these translations.
Hayden
Jan 01, 2017 Hayden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first true foray in Classical Greek literature (D.W.'s version of The Odyssey in Arthur not withstanding). I had seen a production of Antigone in high school, and Greek mythology is not exactly foreign to me, but I'd never read any original works of the time.

While at first this translation seemed a little too modern to me, I soon grew to enjoy it; it was very easy to understand, and I was able to go through the plays quickly. Due to their somewhat depressing nature I only read one pl
...more
David Alexander
Jun 03, 2012 David Alexander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finised reading all of Sophocles plays, except the 116 plays they have not found or have found only in fragments. There is a moral impulse in Sophocles which strikes me as commendable. The first thing I think of when I consider this aspect of his writings is not, "The savage!" but rather of how he, writing thousands of years ago, shared in common with the best of us moral sentiments we commend and recognize as good. There is a timeless good to certain moral acts of mankind. I would even s ...more
Ray
Aug 08, 2009 Ray marked it as own  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, classic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sandrine S
The emblematic ancient Greek dramas are an interesting read.
Aimara
Dec 29, 2016 Aimara is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
My goal is to start with Oedipus the King and then as I go on with my reading I'll decide with which story to follow.

26/ Dec/2016
Finished Oedipus the King
4 stars 👍
Rick
Oct 29, 2012 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Only seven of the 100 or so plays written by Sophocles have survived intact. Less than 10% of his creative output. It’s a ratio that could drive one to distraction—the odds are long that as great or greater plays as the seven survivors were lost.

Better not to dwell on an unimaginable loss and focus on these seven dramas: Ajax, where the fierce warrior, second only to Achilles, is maddened by a god seeking to stop Ajax from slaying Odysseus, Agamemnon, and Menelaus in a rage over a perceived slig
...more
Yair Ben-Zvi
Jul 27, 2016 Yair Ben-Zvi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's not much I can say about this collection that won't sound like hyperbole but, the fact is, it's all kind of true. What you see in these works is, in many cases, the early seeds of some of the greatest storytelling devices ever conceived by the minds of men. Much like how the Bible (or as Eddie Izzard would say the Biblee) is a cornerstone of the West in such a way as to partly explain our language(s), culture(s), beliefs, so to with these texts we find the Grecian mother to our Biblical ...more
LeDompteur
Nov 24, 2015 LeDompteur rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quelqu'un m'a dit que je me fait une grande injustice en choisissant Sophocle pour ma lecture de weekend, parceque, dit-il, grace a ces pièces je trouverai tous les autres ouvres de tous les autres ecrivains fanés. J'ai pensé qu'il exagère beaucoup...mais maintenant après avoir lire ces ouvres je peut comprendre ce qu'il disait. Ici on trouve tous les grandes questions éternelles de notre existence- justice, religion, mortalité, la vie après la mort, les faiblesses humaines, les liens qui formen ...more
Jordi Polo Carres
Es dificil escribir sobre un libro que contiene 7 libros.
Edipo rey - 5
Edipo en colono - 1
Antigona - 3
Ayax - 4
Traquidias - 4
Filoctetes- 2
Electra - 4

Algunas obras son mas interestantes que otras. Por ejemplo en Edipo en Colono realmente no pasa nada, es bastante aburrida pero Ajax o Edipo rey hay relativamente accion.

Lo mas interestante desde mi punto de vista es conocer como se expresaban en aquella epoca y a la vez tener mas detalles sobre ciertos mitos.
El mayor problema, que muchas cosas o
...more
Michelle
Oct 11, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Antigone by Sophocles
Sophomore English II

I only read the Antigone portion in this compilation.

Antigone was definitely a deep book, about the (short-lived) trials and tribulations of a girl who decides to go against the law in order to follow her beliefs. She does so to save her brother from eternal life as a ghost wandering on Earth (as the Greek beliefs go).

There are many themes involved with this play, some including:
1. In the olden days, no woman would dare speak out and criticize men.
2. So
...more
Phillip
Jul 28, 2011 Phillip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Updated Review: Sophocles is a great dramatist, the only play in this collection that I didn't enjoy is The Women of Trachis. Here are my blog posts about the individual plays.
Ajax: http://atheniandionysia.blogspot.com/...
Electra: http://atheniandionysia.blogspot.com/...
Philoctetes: http://atheniandionysia.blogspot.com/...
The Women of Trachis: http://atheniandionysia.blogspot.com/...
Oedipus Rex: http://atheniandionysia.blogspot.com/...
Oedipus at Colonus: http://atheniandionysia.blogspot.com/...
A
...more
Giovaennchen Lozano
Este es otro de los libros que leí en la secundaria. Ahora que lo volví a hojear, me sorprende que nos lo hayan dado en aquel entonces. Con razón me costó trabajo. Son las obras del teatro griego más famosas: Ayax, Electra, Edipo Rey, Edipo en Colono, Antígona, Las Traquinias y Filoctetes. Las más famosas que se han representado son Edipo, Electra, y Antígona. Se supone que através de la tragedia se representaban los sentimientos humanos y habría alguna enseñanza a partir de ahí. Todos los actor ...more
Joel Mitchell
I had a hard time really getting into this translation by Paul Roche. He maintained the original iambic meter throughout the translation but varied the line lengths to such a degree that I found it very difficult to get into the poetic flow of the plays.

My enjoyment of the tragic plays' content varied somewhat. In general they follow the formula of a character persisting in their thought/words/actions while others try to convince them to do otherwise with, well, tragic consequences for one or mo
...more
José Mª Navarro
Nov 27, 2016 José Mª Navarro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Las siete tragedias que nos han quedado de este autor. Una obra imprescindible para quien desee conocer la cultura de la Antigua Grecia. También para quien desee bucear en el alma humana y descubrir la naturaleza problemática de la moral. Antígona, por ejemplo, es una tragedia frecuentemente analizada o mencionada en los libros de ética. Un clásico imprescindible.
Tragedias completas by Sophocles
A pesar la importancia de la obra cabe resaltar un aspecto negativo de la edición a cargo de José Vara Donado. Al carecer de la numer
...more
Amir Atef
Jan 05, 2015 Amir Atef rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
هل تريد يا صديقي أن تكتب ... وتتعلم أصول الكتابة وجذورها ؟
إذن فلتقرأ هذا الكتاب يا صديقي ... ففيه من الدرر ما يجعلك تغترف بنهم دون شبع
سوفوكليس .. أحد أعظم كتاب التاريخ ... هو من علمني شخصيًا أشياء كثيرة في كتابة المشهد ، والساسبنس ومفاجأة الجمهور ... وحاولت أن أرد له بعض من أفضاله عليَّ ... فكتبت اسمه في روايتي مرتين :)
كتابٌ فيه الكثير عن التراجيديا وفن المسرح والكتابة .
البرولوجوس والمنولوجوس والجوقة والاكسيدوس ... أشياء يجب أن تعرفها يا صديق ... قبل أن تمسك قبل وتشرع فى الكتابة ... لا أنكر أن ب
...more
Natalie Petchnikow
«Œdipe : Ô mes enfants, où donc êtes-vous ?... Sur vous aussi je pleure... quand je songe combien sera amère votre vie à venir et quel sort vous feront les gens... Quand vous atteindrez l'heure du mariage, qui voudra, qui osera se charger de tous ces opprobres faits pour ruiner votre existence, comme ils ont fait pour mes propres parents ? Est-il un crime qui y manque ? Votre père a tué son père ; il a fécondé le sein d'où lui-même était sorti ; il vous a eues de celle même dont il était issu... ...more
Charles
Feb 18, 2015 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-mythology
Great, great translations in simple, modern language that is powerful and stark. I love the poetic, near-Hemingway brevity of it that still hits with all kinds of powerful turns of emotion in each play. All the plays were wonderful to read and none felt flat or boring. I actually would love to see performances of any of these plays done. This is the way ancient literature needs to be translated and performed -- it would do wonders to bring popularity to modern audiences. Ancient works like these ...more
Softymel
Jan 17, 2013 Softymel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ces tragédies ont beau être antique, elles n'en ont pour autant pas mal vieilli!
Ce n'est pas le cas de tous les auteurs antiques, mais les pièces de Sophocle sont des lectures très agréables, et très facile d’accès. On y retrouve ses personnages de mythologie dont on a tous entendu parler, sans toujours se souvenir de ce qu'ils ont fait. C'est donc une bonne façon de se remémorer ses faits mythologiques qui font parti de notre patrimoine culturelle, tout en passant un agréable moment de lecture
...more
Dominic
Nov 13, 2009 Dominic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read "Oedipus at Colonus" in years, but all three plays are timeless.

I don't believe there is a more human story than "Oedipus Rex." If you haven't felt like Oedipus at Fate's complete and life-shattering mercy, than you certainly will--just wait!

The struggle with one's pride is an eternal struggle. We all want to have complete control over our lives; we all want to feel like we can create our own destinies. Unfortunately Life (a.k.a. the Greek gods) loves to throw curveballs. These p
...more
Patrick
Reading THE SECRET HISTORY prompted me to brush up on the actual Classics. The translation is super modernized and accessible, which isn't necessarily a good thing. It felt like reading a text message of the performances. But it did serve to refresh me of the characters, family lineages, history of the Trojan War and the climate in which Sophocles wrote these works. I'm glad to have read this but I wouldn't recommend the translation.
Amanda
Dec 09, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never read any of Sophocles' plays before and I found them fascinating. I enjoyed reading this edition as there were notes about the Athenian Theater and Tragedy. There were also notes about each play with a little bit of background information and notes and thoughts from other writers. I found this information helpful since I wasn't familiar with many of the characters or story lines. It was definitely an interesting read and would be fun to discuss.
Lucas Johnson
Jan 22, 2016 Lucas Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the colloquial casting of this translation. I am not a fluent reader or speaker of Greek, but I do find that many translations are either flat and academic or attempt to be clever. Most people speak in idiom and rely on emotional content and this is especially the case in plays. Actors are called for when character is necessary for the story to unfold and this is lost in some translations.
Erika
Dec 10, 2011 Erika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this book several times and it's always different for me. First time I read Oedipus I was in my teens and it moved me incredibly, but now that I'm in my mid twenties I'm not so shocked anymore and I just wanted to get it over with. I think my favorite tragedy gotta be Ajax, even if it enrages me so much how he was treated by the gods and his fellow warriors.
Certainly a book to be read and reread as time moves on.
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Sophocles (Greek: Σοφοκλής; German editions: Sophokles, Russian: Софокл, French editions: Sophocle) 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...

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“You, you'll see no more the pain I suffered, all the pain I caused! Too long you looked on the ones you never should have seen, blind to the ones you longed to see, to know! Blind from this hour on! Blind in the darkness-blind!” 7 likes
“ANTIGONE Yea, for these laws were not ordained of Zeus, And she who sits enthroned with gods below, Justice, enacted not these human laws. Nor did I deem that thou, a mortal man, Could’st by a breath annul and override The immutable unwritten laws of Heaven. They were not born today nor yesterday; They die not; and none knoweth whence they sprang. I was not like, who feared no mortal’s frown, To disobey these laws and so provoke The wrath of Heaven.  I knew that I must die, E’en hadst thou not proclaimed it; and if death Is thereby hastened, I shall count it gain. For death is gain to him whose life, like mine, Is full of misery.  Thus my lot appears Not sad, but blissful; for had I endured To leave my mother’s son unburied there, I should have grieved with reason, but not now. And if in this thou judgest me a fool, Methinks the judge of folly’s not acquit.” 2 likes
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