Item description for Oedipus the King (Classic Drama) by Sophocles & Michael Sheen...
Overview A full-cast performance presents the story of a man tormented by a prophecy of murder and incest.
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Format: Audiobook, Classical, Unabridged
Studio: Naxos Audiobooks
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 5.25" Weight: 0.25 lbs.
Publisher Naxos Audiobooks
ISBN 9626341777 ISBN13 9789626341773
Availability 0 units.
More About Sophocles & Michael Sheen
Sophocles was born at Colonus, just outside Athens, in 496 BC, and lived ninety years. His long life spanned the rise and decline of the Athenian Empire; he was a friend of Pericles, and though not an active politician he held several public offices, both military and civil. The leader of a literary circle and friend of Herodotus, he was interested in poetic theory as well as practice, and he wrote a prose treatise On the Chorus. He seems to have been content to spend all his life at Athens, and is said to have refused several invitations to royal courts.Sophocles first won a prize for tragic drama in 468, defeating the veteran Aeschylus. He wrote over a hundred plays for the Athenian theater, and is said to have come first in twenty-four contests. Only seven of his tragedies are now extant, these being Ajax, Antigone, Oedipus the King, Women of Trachis, Electra, Philoctetes, and the posthumous Oedipus at Colonus. A substantial part of The Searches, a satyr play, was recovered from papyri in Egypt in modern times. Fragments of other plays remain, showing that he drew on a wide range of themes; he also introduced the innovation of a third actor in his tragedies. He died in 406 BC. Robert Fagles (1933-2008) was Arthur W. Marks '19 Professor of Comparative Literature, Emeritus, at Princeton University. He was the recipient of the 1997 PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and a 1996 Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His translations include Sophocles's Three Theban Plays, Aeschylus's Oresteia (nominated for a National Book Award), Homer's Iliad (winner of the 1991 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award by The Academy of American Poets), Homer's Odyssey, and Virgil's Aeneid. Bernard Knox (1914-2010) was Director Emeritus of Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. He taught at Yale University for many years. Among his numerous honors are awards from the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His works include The Heroic Temper: Studies in Sophoclean Tragedy, Oedipus at Thebes: Sophocles' Tragic Hero and His Time and Essays Ancient and Modern (awarded the 1989 PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award).
Reviews - What do customers think about Oedipus the King (Classic Drama)?
More than a translation Nov 21, 2005
Oedipus the King is one of the classic works of Western literature. It was originally written as a play in around 429 BC by Sophocles (~496-406 BC), a Greek philosopher and playwright. It took the Greek world by storm, and has been handed down to future generations who have also been greatly influenced by it. Most notably in modern times, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) took this work as pointing toward a deep-rooted psychosis, the Oedipus Complex.
Oedipus the King (also known as Oedipus Rex or Oedipus Tyrannus) is the story of Oedipus, the king of Thebes, which is suffering under a horrific plague. Finding out that the god Apollo has laid the plague on the city until it should punish the murderer of its previous king, Oedipus pronounces a curse on the murderer and sets out to discover who the murderer was. Sadly for Oedipus, there is fate upon fate wrapped up in this mystery, and doom upon doom.
This book, is not merely a translation of Oedipus the King, instead it is an "acting version," created by the Stratford Shakespearian Festival Company of Canada for High School level students. The book begins with an introduction to Sophocles and Greek theatre, and after the play are copious notes, critical excerpts and questions for discussion. The play itself was written so that a young reader, with no background understanding of Greek theatre or culture will understand it.
Overall, I found this to be a great book. I enjoyed the information about the play a lot, and believe that it will be very helpful to any reader. But, foremost, I enjoyed the play itself. The story is powerful, and quite enthralling. I have never seen this play acted out, but do think that this translation would make it excellent. I loved this book, and highly recommend it!
Misleading Jun 28, 2005
Warning to all those who are reading this for a school assignment: you may think that an "enriched classic" is simply the text with commentary also included. Not so, with this book. They shouldn't call it an "enriched classic". They should call it "dumbed down for lazy readers."
Oedipus review Nov 8, 2002
Oedipus was a weird book to reab, because the plot was all twisted. The characters in the book are nasty. Oedipus kills his father and has two kids with his mother.....
This is a tragedy Apr 11, 2001
The central statement of Greek tragedy is that Man can not control his Destiny; that there is an ineluctable Fate, preordained and inescapable. No matter how much the poor humans fight against it, it must be fulfilled. And there is no character as tragic as Oedipus in all literature. In this play, we see Oedipus as a successful man who has become King of Thebes, happily married to an older woman named Iocasta. As the play unfolds, we can feel the proximity of something terrible indeed. When the blind sage Tiresias starts to unfold the true story of Oedipus, we can creepily feel the sheer horror that grips him, as he learns that he has killed his father and married his mother, unknowingly. I have no notice of any other plot that can be described as more tragic than this one. Besides, it is one of the main sources of our culture, as with all true Classics. Oedipus summarizes some of our worst fears and traumas: the need to "kill the paternal figure", the "dependency on our mother", the "impossibility of control external forces that shape our fate". It is horrific and fascinating, and there is simply no way to be indifferent to it.
Naxos recording perhaps a bit too modern Nov 18, 2000
The only budget series of audio books and recorded drama comes from Naxos. One of their more recent entries is a very modern version of Sophocles' in a translation by Duncan Steen. In fact, some might find it a little too modern with its use of idiomatic expressions such as "You can't pin that on me"--which might be taken as an ironic reference to the final horrible deed of the hero. But when the messenger the agonized Oedipus as calling himself a "mother f..." (although he stops at the "f") the effect is far too "modern" for comfort. You see, given a sound recording, we can only assume that the action is taking place in the nearly prehistoric past. I do not know the tone of Sophocles' Greek; but I do read that it is elegant and decorous. Therefore, I can only assume that this translator is doing his source a great injustice.
On the other hand, the dialogue MOVES. There is an excitement to this performance, although the Creon of Adam Kotz lacks some force. Michael Sheen is good in the title role, as is Nichola McAuliffe as Jocasta, Heathcote Williams as the Chorus Leader, and John Moffatt as Tiresias and the Narrator at the start of the recording. The Chorus itself is cut down to four voices, but they are handled nicely with stereo separation and are quite comprehensible. The music is meager but effectively used.
All in all, a very good if not perfect attempt at making one of the greatest Western plays accessible to a wide audience.