Oedipus Rex

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Dover Publications, 1991 - Drama - 54 pages
35 Reviews

Considered by many the greatest of the classic Greek tragedies, Oedipus Rex is Sophocles' finest play and a work of extraordinary power and resonance. Aristotle considered it a masterpiece of dramatic construction and refers to it frequently in the Poetics.
In presenting the story of King Oedipus and the tragedy that ensues when he discovers he has inadvertently killed his father and married his mother, the play exhibits near-perfect harmony of character and action. Moreover, the masterly use of dramatic irony greatly intensifies the impact of the agonizing events and emotions experienced by Oedipus and the other characters in the play. Now these and many other facets of this towering tragedy may be studied and appreciated in Dover's attractive inexpensive edition of one of the great landmarks of Western drama.
A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

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Review: Oedipus Rex and Antigone

User Review  - Beverly - Goodreads

Sophocles at his finest. Both plays/poems are beautifully written and tell tales of tragedy that are sorrowful but grand in their writing. Read full review

Review: Oedipus Rex and Antigone

User Review  - Goodreads

Sophocles at his finest. Both plays/poems are beautifully written and tell tales of tragedy that are sorrowful but grand in their writing. Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
8
Section 3
19
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

The Greek dramatist Sophocles, born to a wealthy family at Colonus, near Athens, was admired as a boy for his personal beauty and musical skill. He served faithfully as a treasurer and general for Athens when it was expanding its empire and influence. In the dramatic contests, he defeated Aeschylus in 468 b.c. for first prize in tragedy, wrote a poem to Herodotus (see Vol. 3), and led his chorus and actors in mourning for Euripides just a few months before his own death. He wrote approximately 123 plays, of which 7 tragedies are extant, as well as a fragment of his satiric play, Ichneutae (Hunters). His plays were produced in the following order: Ajax (c.450 b.c.), Antigone (441 b.c.), Oedipus Tyrannus (c.430 b.c.), Trachiniae (c.430 b.c.), Electra (between 418 and 410 b.c.), Philoctetes (409 b.c.), and Oedipus at Colonus (posthumously in 401 b.c.). With Sophocles, Greek tragedy reached its most characteristic form. He added a third actor, made each play independent---that is, not dependent on others in a trilogy---increased the numbers of the chorus, introduced the use of scenery, shifted the focus from religious to more philosophical issues, and brought language and characters, though still majestic, nearer to everyday life. His finely delineated characters are responsible for the tragedy that befalls them, and they accept it heroically. Aristotle (see Vols. 3, 4, and 5) states that Sophocles said he portrayed people as they ought to be; Euripides, as they are. His utter command of tragic speech in the simple grandeur of his choral odes, dialogues, and monologues encourages the English reader to compare him to Shakespeare (see Vol. 1).

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