Sophocles, Carl Phillips, Diskin Clay
Oxford University Press, 2003 - Philosophy - 118 pages
Based on the conviction that only translators who write poetry themselves can properly re-create the celebrated and timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the Greek Tragedy in New Translations series offers new translations that go beyond the literal meaning of the Greek in order to evoke the poetry of the originals. Under the general editorship of Peter Burian and Alan Shapiro, each volume includes a critical introduction, commentary on the text, full stage directions, and a glossary of the mythical and geographical references in the play.
En route to fight the Trojan War, the Greek army has abandoned Philoctetes, after the smell of his festering wound, mysteriously received from a snakebite at a shrine on a small island off Lemnos, makes it unbearable to keep him on ship. Ten years later, an oracle makes it clear that the war cannot be won without the assistance of Philoctetes and his famous bow, inherited from Hercules himself. Philoctetes focuses on the attempt of Neoptolemus and the hero Odysseus to persuade the bowman to sail with them to Troy. First, though, they must assuage his bitterness over having been abandoned, and then win his trust. But how should they do this--through trickery, or with the truth? To what extent do the ends justify the means? To what degree should personal integrity be compromised for the sake of public duty? These are among the questions that Sophocles puts forward in this, one of his most morally complex and penetrating plays.
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On the Translation
Notes on the Text
abandoned Achaians actor Aeschylus Agamemnon agony Ajax antistmphe antistrophe Apollo archer Argives arms of Achilles arrow Athenian Athens Atreidai Atreus bow of Herakles bring called capture of Troy cave child choral CHORUS Chryse ctetes cult dead death Diomedes disease disguise divine dramatic embassy Epic Epic Cycle Euripides evil expedition against Troy fate father force goddess gods Greek army Greek expedition Hades hate Helenos Hephaistos Herakles Hermes Homeric Iliad intimacy island Laertes Laomedon leave Lemnian Lemnos line length living look Lykomedes lyric Malis Menelaos mother NEOPTOLEMOS never noble numbers nymphs Odysseus Odysseus and Neoptolemos Oita Olympos pain persuade Philo Philoctetes Phoinix pity plot Poias Priam ptolemos pyre reader sailors shame ship Sisyphos Skyms Skyros sleep sons of Atreus Sophocles speak Stranger strategem strophe suffering take Troy tell Teucer Thersites Theseus Thessaly things TRADER tragedy translation Trojan warriors words wound Zeus