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An indispensable guide to the myth of Oedipus this book is the first to analyze its long and varied history from ancient times to the modern day, and presented with an authoritative survey that considers Oedipus in art and music as well as in literature. Lowell Edmunds accepts this variation as the driving force in its longevity and popularity. Refraining from seeking for an original form of the myth, Edmunds relates the changes in content in the myth to changes in meaning, eschewing the notion that one particular version can be set as standard.
Skyros Publishing is dedicated to reproducing the finest books ever written and letting readers of all ages experience a classic for the first time or revisit a past favorite. Oedipus the King, a tragedy written by Sophocles, is chronologically the first play of the classic Oedipus Rex trilogy.
From fire-stealing Prometheus to scene-stealing Helen of Troy, from Jason and his golden fleece to Oedipus and his mother, this collection of classic tales from Greek mythology demonstrates the inexhaustible vitality of a timeless cultural legacy. Here are Icarus flying too close to the sun, mighty Hercules, Achilles and that darn heel, the Trojans and their wooden horse, brave Perseus and beautiful Andromeda, wandering Odysseus and steadfast Penelope. Their stories and the stories of the powerful gods and goddesses who punish and reward, who fall in love with and are enraged by the humans they have created, are set forth simply but movingly, in language that retains the power and drama of the original works by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Homer. Edited by Gustav Schwab Introduction by Werner Jaeger Part of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library
Myths of the Greeks and Romans is an essential guide to ancient literature The myths told by the Greeks and Romans are as important as their history for our understanding of what they believed, thought and felt, and of what they expressed in writing and visual art. Mythology was inextricably interwoven with the entire fabric of their public and private lives. This book discusses not only the purely fictional myths, fairy-tales and folk-tales but the sagas and legends which have some historical grounding. This is not a dictionary of stories, rather a personal selection of the most important and memorable. Michael Grant re-tells these marvellous tales, and then explores the different ways in which they have appeared throughout literature. It is an inspiring study, filled with quotations from literary sources, which gives the reader a fascinating exposition of ancient culture as well as an understanding of how vital the classical world has been in shaping the western culture of today.
Ishtar is the first book dedicated to providing an accessible analysis of the mythology and image of this complex goddess. The polarity of her nature is reflected in her role as goddess of sexual love and war, and has made her difficult to characterise in modern scholarship. By exploring this complexity, Ishtar offers insight into Mesopotamian culture and thought, and elucidates a goddess who transcended the limits of gender, divinity and nature. It gives an accessible introduction to the Near Eastern pantheon, while also opening a pathway for comparison with the later Near Eastern and Mediterranean deities who followed her.
From one of today’s foremost scholars, a lively retelling of the timeless tales… Here are the myths that have influenced so much of our cultural heritage. Such age-old stories as the tragic love of Orpheus and Eurydice or Demeter’s loss of her daughter, Persephone, resonate strongly with readers even today. In this book the rousing adventures of the heroes Herakles, Theseus, and Perseus are intertwined with the tragedies of immortal Prometheus and mortal Oedipus, the amorous escapades of Zeus, the trickery of Hermes, and the ecstasy of Dionysus. In-depth introductions to each section deepen your understanding of the myths—and heighten your reading pleasure. Presented in simple yet elegant prose, these tales emerge in brilliant new life. From the creation battle of the gods and Titans to Odysseus’ return home from the Trojan War, this indispensable volume contains fifty-six legendary stories—handed down from generations past—that will continue to captivate readers for generations to come.
Much has been written about the heroic figures of Sophocles' powerful dramas. Now Charles Segal focuses our attention not on individual heroes and heroines, but on the world that inspired and motivated their actions--a universe of family, city, nature, and the supernatural. He shows how these ancient masterpieces offer insight into the abiding question of tragedy: how one can make sense of a world that involves so much apparently meaningless violence and suffering. In a series of engagingly written interconnected essays, Segal studies five of Sophocles' seven extant plays: Ajax, Oedipus Tyrannus, Philoctetes, Antigone, and the often neglected Trachinian Women. He examines the language and structure of the plays from several interpretive perspectives, drawing both on traditional philological analysis and on current literary and cultural theory. He pays particular attention to the mythic and ritual backgrounds of the plays, noting Sophocles' reinterpretation of the ancient myths. His delineation of the heroes and their tragedies encompasses their relations with city and family, conflicts between men and women, defiance of social institutions, and the interaction of society, nature, and the gods. Segal's analysis sheds new light on Sophocles' plays--among the most widely read works of classical literature--and on their implications for Greek views on the gods, moral life, and sexuality. Table of Contents: Preface Introduction Drama and Perspective in Ajax Myth, Poetry, and Heroic Values in the Trachinian Women Time, Oracles, and Marriage in the Trachinian Women Philoctetes and the Imperishable Piety Lament and Closure in Antigone Time and Knowledge in the Tragedy of Oedipus Freud, Language, and the Unconscious The Gods and the Chorus: Zeus in Oedipus Tyrannus Earth in Oedipus Tyrannus Abbreviations Notes Index Reviews of this book: "Sophocles' Tragic World is...a lucidly written work of great theoretical sophistication and learning, offering many new insights into the fundamental meaning of the plays." DD--Victor Bers, Bryn Mawr Classical Review "[Segal] refutes reductionist attempts to derive from a Sophoclean tragedy a unitary moral or message. The dramas, Segal argues, present insoluble dilemmas that require the audience to engage with the situations the characters face, the choices the characters make, and the consequences of those choices...This book will be of interest to anyone who wants a fuller appreciation of Sophocles' dramatic art." DD--Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, New England Classical Journal "Segal's strengths as a critic are sensitivity to detail, breadth of cultural reference, and open-mindedness; these qualities make his writing rich...This is a book which could enhance any reader's understanding of Sophocles." DD--Greece and Rome "A fine collection of nine essays...A richly rewarding collection amply illustrated with specific detailed reference to the texts that one always tries to inculcate in one's pupils: for them, this will be invaluable." DD--Jim Neville, JACT Review "Sophocles' Tragic World is an organized collection of nine essays (plus introduction) on five plays, Ajax, Trachiniae, Philoctetes, Antigone, and--especially--OT, to which four of the chapters are devoted. The introduction and three of the essays (one on Ant., two on OT) are new; the others are revisions of published articles, dating originally from 1976 to 1993. For several decades now, [Segal] has been so articulate about Greek tragedy, and so productive in his articulations, that one has acquired an unusually sharp sense...of the changing shape and direction that his readings have taken over the years." DD--M.S. Silk, Classical Review "Charles Segal has written a superb critical study of five of the seven extant plays by Sophocles...Segal's analytical interests go beyond the usual discussion of the nature of heroic greatness of tragic stature. He is principally concerned with the 'tragic world' which Sophocles depicts...Segal writes in a lucid, jargon-free prose that is also dramaturgy of the highest order...Segal's strength as a critic issues directly from a wide-ranging sensitivity to the epic tradition and a nuanced awareness of the dramatic use of temporal shifts and poetic displacements. Segal's terrific, lucid book should also be required reading for anyone interested in the tragic stature of women in Greek tragedy. His complex thinking on the subject gives justice to the basic intractability of Sophocles's views on the nature of feminine sensibility." DD--Randy Gener, New York Theatre Wire "This work includes five previously published essays and four new essays. Once more, Segal brings his considerable scholarship to bear on the plays of Sophocles, addressing five of the seven extant tragedies." DD--Choice
Interweaving phenomenological, hermeneutical, and sociopolitical analyses, this book considers the ways in which feminists conceptualize and produce the temporalities of feminism, including the time of the trace, narrative time, calendar time, and generational time.
Before Shakespeare, few dramatists had used historical figures as characters in a play, or actual historical events as elements of a plot. Likewise, the Bard was a pioneer of the sonnet, which he took to new heights. Both literary form, including his two historical tetralogies, and his narrative poems, in addition to the particular form of sonnet that now bears his name are examined through engaging text. A brief treatise on the music within and accompanying productions of Shakespeares plays rounds out the coverage.
In this definitive assessment of the various representations and approaches to Athena, Susan Deacy does what no other has done before and brings all the aspects of this legendary figure into one, outstanding study. A survey of one of the most enduringly popular of ancient deities, the book introduces Athena’s myth, cult and reception, while directing the reader to detailed discussion as and when it is appropriate. Students will find it a great help in their studies, and for the general reader with an interest in the ancient world and for those from related disciplines such as literature, art history and religion, it provides a mine of information and insight into this fascinating classical figure.
Among the most celebrated plays of ancient Athens, Oedipus the King is one of seven surviving dramas by the great Greek playwright, Sophocles, now available from Harper Perennial in a vivid and dynamic new translation by award-winning poet Robert Bagg. Praised by Aristotle as the pinnacle of Greek drama, Oedipus the King is the ancient world’s most shocking and memorable tragedy; the story of Thebes’s resilient hero and his royal family brought to hellish ruin by fate, manipulation of the Olympian gods, and all-too-human weakness. This is Sophocles, vibrant and alive, for a new generation.
The Myth of the Abducted Wife in Comparative Perspective
Author: Lowell Edmunds
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
It's a familiar story: a beautiful woman is abducted and her husband journeys to recover her. This story’s best-known incarnation is also a central Greek myth—the abduction of Helen that led to the Trojan War. Stealing Helen surveys a vast range of folktales and texts exhibiting the story pattern of the abducted beautiful wife and makes a detailed comparison with the Helen of Troy myth. Lowell Edmunds shows that certain Sanskrit, Welsh, and Old Irish texts suggest there was an Indo-European story of the abducted wife before the Helen myth of the Iliad became known. Investigating Helen’s status in ancient Greek sources, Edmunds argues that if Helen was just one trope of the abducted wife, the quest for Helen’s origin in Spartan cult can be abandoned, as can the quest for an Indo-European goddess who grew into the Helen myth. He explains that Helen was not a divine essence but a narrative figure that could replicate itself as needed, at various times or places in ancient Greece. Edmunds recovers some of these narrative Helens, such as those of the Pythagoreans and of Simon Magus, which then inspired the Helens of the Faust legend and Goethe. Stealing Helen offers a detailed critique of prevailing views behind the "real" Helen and presents an eye-opening exploration of the many sources for this international mythical and literary icon.
The ancient Greeks’ concept of “the hero” was very different from what we understand by the term today. In 24 installments, based on the Harvard course Gregory Nagy has taught and refined since the 1970s, The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours explores civilization’s roots in Classical literature, a lineage that continues to challenge and inspire us.
Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge, 2/e, is an accessible yet in-depth literary study of Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus (Oedipus Rex)--the most famous Greek tragedy and one of the greatest masterpieces of world literature. This unique volume combines a close, scene-by-scene literary analysis of the text with an account of the play's historical, intellectual, social, and mythical background and also discusses the play's place in the development of the myth and its use of the theatrical conventions of Greek drama. Based on a fresh scrutiny of the Greek text, this book offers a contemporary literary interpretation of the play, including a readable, nontechnical discussion of its underlying moral and philosophical issues; the role of the gods; the interaction of character, fate, and chance; the problem of suffering and meaning; and Sophocles' conception of tragedy and tragic heroism. This lucid guide traces interpretations of the play from antiquity to modern times--from Aristotle to Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Lacan, Levi-Strauss, Girard, and Vernant--and shows its central role in shaping the European conception of tragedy and modern notions of the self. This second edition draws on new approaches to the study of Greek tragedy; discusses the most recent interpretative scholarship on the play; and contains an annotated up-to-date bibliography. Ideal for courses in classical literature in translation, Greek drama, classical civilization, theater, and literature and arts, Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge, 2/e, will also reward general readers interested in literature and especially tragedy."
Oedipus at Colonus follows Oedipus Rex and Antigone in the trilogy of Greek dramas about the king of Thebes and his unhappy family. David Mulroy's translation combines scrupulous scholarship and textual accuracy with a fresh verse style, and his introduction and notes deepen the reader's understanding of the play and the politics of Sophocles' Athens.