Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Trachiniae” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,106 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
Sophocles' Trachiniae has traditionally been his least popular play, but it is now generally agreed that its tragic vision of life is perfectly compatible with that of his other dramas. The introduction to this important new commentary deals with the play's merits, the question of its unity, its treatment of the hero Heracles, the story's pre-Sophoclean tradition, and the ...more
Published May 16th 1991 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published -450)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Trachiniae, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Trachiniae

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Here’s something I just realized, about ten years too late: Greek is really, really hard. All you ambitious youngsters out there contemplating a fast-paced career in classics, take it from me: Ancient Greek will break your heart. I’ve been sweating over this infernal language for more than a decade, off and on, and even now I don’t read it so much as piece it together, clause by tortuous clause. You can, with a bilingual edition of Dante and a good dictionary, teach yourself Italian in six month ...more
David Sarkies
Oct 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tragedy
War and the absent husband
24 October 2012

This is the only Herculean play of Sophocles that we have, and when I use the term Herculean, it is not in the big and massive context that we generally use the term, but rather the story focuses around the Greek hero Heracles. This play could also have the subtitle of 'The Death of Heracles' and in many ways it is a tragedy true to form. However, it also adds to the mystery of how the story of Heracles played out. The problem with Heracles is that we ha
Hal Johnson
At the climax of this play, a character literally begs his son, "Son, I want you to kill me and marry my wife." And his son is begging off: "Dad, I think that's weird. Ask something else of me." But the father keeps putting the lean on, until the son relents.

According to Rene Girard, this is one Sophocles play that Freud never refers to. It's interesting to speculate how different the history of twentieth-century psychology would have been if he had.
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"No one forsees the future,
but our present is awash with grief
that shames even the gods, and pain
beyond anything we can know
strikes this man who now meets his doom.
Women, don't cower in the house.
Come with us. You've just seen death
and devastating calamity, but
you've seen nothing that is not Zeus."
Thus laments Hyllos, son of Herakles and Deianeira; his mother has unwittingly poisoned his mighty hero-father, thinking that she was giving him a love potion so that he would see no one but her (th
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology, play
Trakhisli Kadınlar, Herkül'ün başka bir kadına aşık olduğunu öğrenen eşini aşkını geri kazanmak adına yaptığı büyünün istem dışı ters tepmesini anlatıyor. Trajik sonuna rağmen daha önce Oidipus'un hikayesinde olduğu gibi Sophokles, istemeden yapılan yanlıştan insanın suçlanamayacağını savunuyor. Oldukça akıcı bir oyun.
Francisco H. González
En La muerte de los héroes, Gual dedicaba un apartado a la muerte de Heracles, de la cual dice que no conoce un final más trágico en la literatura antigua: el héroe que regresa cae en la trampa tramada por su enemigo y lleva a una muerte inesperada y horrible a la mujer que él amaba, a la que él salvó y que le quería también de todo corazón, impulsada ingenuamente por el ansia de conservar su amor.

En Las Traquinias, Heracles acaba en una pira, pidiendo encarecidamente a su hijo Hilo que le dé ca
Sep 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-plays
I read the Theban Plays in 2014 and I'm not sure why I avoided reading another Sophocles play for so long but this has become a favourite. Mostly for the character of Deianira and the astounding writing that Sophocles is capable of. Would have gotten a 4.5 if not for Heracles being the biggest fuckboy in the last ten pages. Can't wait to read more of Sophocles' work.
May 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classicalstudies
The most underrated and under-appreciated installment in the Sophoclean canon, Trachiniae (or "The Women of Trachis) is an entertaining tragedy about the marital struggles of a ancient Grecian princess, Deianeira, the wife of Heracles (aka Hercules). With all the raw aggression and detail typical in Sophocles' depiction of human emotion, the characters in the play are constantly reminded of the weights that befall spirits once young and unchecked. The Chorus in Trachiniae provide a fascinating b ...more
Mar 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Trachiniae, or Women of Trachis, is one of the plays which takes its name from the chorus, like the Trojan Women or the Suppliant Women. But whereas those names give some idea of the subject of the play, the title Women of Trachis suggests nothing. Gilbert Muarray's 1947 edition is titled The Wife of Heracles.

The play is a labarum of Sophocles' standard themes: irony, anguish, death and suicide. The wise learn too late, the innocent fall. Servility to providence.
وائل المنعم
I read E. F. Watling's translation.

Not as good as The Oedipus Cycle or Ajax or Electra but still got some good points, The tragedy is well presented, The characters made a strong impression even the silent Iole.

The problem in this play is the long dialogues and the unneccesary role of the chours.

Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, greek
Baigā drāma. Par mūžvecām kļūdām, kuras turpinām atkārtot. Patika.
Erica Zahn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ramona Boldizsar
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays

I was entirely absorbed in this tragedy -i loved it with my entire soul, only that I felt so sad while reading it. Yesterday, while and after reading Ajax, I felt good, I felt nice, I felt as if I have gotten one step closer to something -or maybe to Sophocles. Even though I lived the play Ajax as I kind of always do with plays -I was there, living intensely etc etc etc and even though I quite believe Ajax is a star better than The Women of Trachis... I couldn't but feel this play, somew
Garrett Cash
Sophocles's Women of Trachis would be more accurately titled as The Death of Heracles. This play is closer in form to the sort of accidental but inevitable tragedy found in Oedipus the King than the "question of justice" plays like Antigone and Electra. It's not quite as good as any of the previously mentioned plays, but it holds its own and is still a great example of Greek tragedy; and more enjoyable than any of Aeschylus's plays. The ending, as usual for Sophocles, is extremely strong and tho ...more
Alp Turgut
Sophokles'in en merak ettiğim eserlerinden biri olan "Women of Trachis / Trakhisli Kadınlar"ı da sonunda okuma fırsatı buldum. Roma Mitolojisi'nde Herkül olarak bilinen Heracles'in trajedisini konu alan oyun, Heracles'in son zamanalarını anlatması nedeniyle Yunan Mitolojisi açısından oldukça büyük bir öneme sahip. Heracles'in karısı Deianeira'nın Zeus'un oğluna duyduğu aşkını kaybetmemek uğruna yanlışlıkla yaptığı şeyler gerçekten kan dondurucu. Sophokles'in en iyi eserlerinden biri.

Cymru Roberts
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-drama
A tragedy without a tragic hero immediately begs the question: WHY ALL THE PAIN?! We look for clues in the characters, even middling ones, and the chorus. We stumble upon hints, like the title. The Women of Trachis. In this play they serve as the chorus, the group of homegirls surrounding Deianira, her chillwomen come to stew in the house of jealous lovers. Strange, to name the play after them… If Heracles ain’t the hero of this sad tale (and he’s certainly worthy of it, so strong, so fierce in ...more
I have to thank Robert Bragg for his beautiful translation as I feel that played a large part in my enjoyment of this play which considering I don't particularly like Herakles is saying something.

The chorus delivered some absolutely beautiful lines while the servant delivered some absolutely heart wrenching descriptions. This is a play I feel I will read again for the language alone.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Spoilers, here's how Herakles (Hercules) dies: his wife Deianeira got groped by the centaur Nessus and in revenge Herakles killed him with a poison arrow, and as he was dying Nessus told Deianeira to save the blood from his wound, it could be a love charm for Herakles if she ever needs it. Years later, Herakles sends slaves home ahead of him from battle, among them a nubile woman Deianeira learns he's In love with. She gives this amazing speech about her - I know my husband fucks tons of women, ...more
No em vaig poder resistir a comprarme el primer volum del coleccionable sobre els clàssics de la Bernat Metge que acaben de treure. I si es presenta l'ocasió, probablement en cauran més. És que jo no em puc resistir a una bona edició d'un text clàssic, amb bones notes i una bona introducció. I veure l'edició bilingüe, amb el text grec original al costat, em fa venir de nou unes ganes boges d'estudiar filologia clàssica.

'Les dones de Traquis' ja em va conquistar amb la primera frase: "És una dit
Julian Meynell
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, ancient, greek, plays

This is probably considered the worst play be Sophocles to come down to us and while I have still one more play to read by Sophocles this is my favorite so far. It is structured in a bizarre way revolving around Deianeira for the first three-quarters of the play and then around her husband Hercules for the last part. Deianeira is waiting for her husband to return home with an increasing mix of hope and dread foreboding. She becomes more and more concerned. Then she learns that a new beau
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Women of Trakhis was a quick and mostly bland read.

Robert Bagg's translation is approachable and thoughtful; I appreciated the notes he included on some of the difficulties of translating and how other translators may render certain lines. It gave a fuller picture of the Greek without disrupting the flow, and I love when translators share their method with the reader.

I know it's shallow, but I was excited to pick it up because it had a pretty cool cover and because I hadn't heard of it before. I
Edward Cheer
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I was struck with absolute awe with how fantastic this play was. I'm not sure what it was about the title, but I was expecting a lot less relatable (maybe because the title rang with a similar tune of "The Suppliant Maidens"), but... good God! This is definitely one of Sophocles' greatest plays. The intense drama of an aging woman learning her husband chooses to marry a woman, and gives into temptation to try to win his love, while inadvertently slaying the son of a god is incredibly fascinating ...more
Oct 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-drama
For some odd reason, plays about or involving Heracles are very "hit-or-miss" for me (for example, Alcestis is a favorite of mine, but Children of Herakles is pretty awful). This play was more of a miss; it suffered from the soap opera-ness that I really don't like in plays and was a bit all over the place.

Women of Trachis is about Heracles' wife patiently waiting for her husband to return home, only to discover that he is in love with a younger, prettier woman. In order to get him to stop, she
Silvio Curtis
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't remember this well, but I liked it a lot. It's about the death of Hēraklēs. His wife Dēianeira is a model of feminine loyalty by ancient Greek mythological values, but she gets worried when Hēraklēs brings home a pretty young concubine from his latest war who he seems pretty serious about. She decides to give him the cloak covered in the blood of the centaur Nessos, who Hēraklēs shot, which Nessos claimed as he died would work as an aphrodisiac charm to turn Hēraklēs back to her. Of course ...more
Oh dear. The Greek soap operas continue. Trachinian Women is even more soap-opery than Oedipus Rex, complete with infidelity, marital struggles, suicide, poisonous robes (?), you name it.

Even though I enjoyed this one a little more than Oedipus Rex, I think it's time for Sophocles and I to end our short-lived relationship. The same problems have arisen in both these plays. Tedious storylines; long, drawn-out speeches that go nowhere; and, simply, not a lot to get you interested in what's going o
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This play gave me mixed feeling. At the beginning I really enjoyed it, both poetry and story. But in the second part of play I was just wainting for the end of it.
Entertaining thing to read.
So Hakim
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tragedy concerning the family of Heracles. It takes on well-known episode, where Deianeira unwittingly murdered her husband with poisoned robe.

The story has quite subtle complexity in it. It is short -- but also full of pathos. Nobody ever planned anything big. They just do things as they see fit, but lo and behold, tragedy unfolds out of thin air.

There are plot twists, and quite brutal ones at that. (I should say no more because spoiler)

So it began like this. Bumbling machismo husband thought
Sarah Sabri
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
من كان يتصور ان يقوم انسان، بشر، بالتغلب على كل قوى الطبيعة المتوحشة ؟!!! ومن كان يتصور أن تقوم امرأة ضعيفة بالتغلب على الرجل الذي تغلب حتى على الطبيعة ذاتها ؟.!!!
هذا هو ماحدث هرقل تمكن من التغلب على قوى الطبيعة المتوحشة في أعماله الأثني عشرة وعاد منتصراً لتقضي عليه زوجته ديانيرا بغير قصد بواسطة ثوب !!!!
أجمل ما في المسرحية تصوير سوفوكليس لشخصية ديانيرا العذبة الرقيقة، التي تشعر بالشفقة حتى على المحظية التي جاء بها زوجها وتظهر نحوها العطف ولا تفكر أن تؤذيها وإنما تفكر فقط في استعادة زوجها الذي تح
Apr 19, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tragedies
زنان تراخیس، تراژدی قتل اتفاقی هراکلس به دست "دی آنی یرا" (از روی عشق!) است که به شکل فجیعی اتفاق افتاد. "دی آنی یرا" که شیفته ی هراکلس بود، چون دریافت که سبب مرگ او شده، خودکشی کرد. زنان تراخیس، یکی از معدود تراژدی های یونان است که به شکلی تازه و غیر سنتی به مساله ی خانواده پرداخته، با وجود این بنظر می رسد آن گونه که شایسته ی این تراژدی بوده، مورد توجه قرار نگرفته است.

نمایش نامه های "الکترا"، "زنان تراخیس"، "فیلوکتتس" و "آژاکس" نیز توسط محمد سعیدی ترجمه شده و در 1339 بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب آنه
Jori Richardson
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of Classical Literature, those in search of some overlooked literature
This has always been my favorite of Sophocle's works. Queen Deianeira is a wife whose husband is in love with another younger, more beautiful woman. With good intentions, she puts together a scheme to reclaim his heart. (view spoiler)
This is the original, true "Romeo & Juliet" story. Besides the setting, the plot line is not at all different. Like Shakespeare's famous tragedy, this tell
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Alcestis
  • The Ecclesiazusae (or Women in Council)
  • The Seven Against Thebes
  • Works and Days (Academic Monograph Reprint)
Sophocles (born c. 496 bc, Colonus, near Athens [Greece]—died 406, Athens), (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 ...more
More about Sophocles...
“أن أفضل قانون في الوجود هو طاعة الأب.” 4 likes
“فإن من يتمتعون ببصيرة ثاقبة يشعرون بالخوف على الشخص الناجح، خشية أن يصيبه الأذى ذات يوم.” 4 likes
More quotes…