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By Professor James C. Hogan B.A. M.A. Ph.D.

James C. Hogan introduces each one play through highlighting particular and interpretive difficulties proper to that play prior to turning to a line-by-line research. the road research is entire, starting from the meanings of phrases and words that pertain to quite a few Greek principles and associations to metaphor and imagery particular to every play in addition to plots and borrowings from previous poetry, kinds, and characterizations.Along together with his exam of the seven extant performs of Sophocles in English translations, Hogan presents a normal advent to the theatre in Sophocles’ time, discussing staging, the conventions of the Greek theatre, the textual content of the performs, and mythology and faith.

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A commentary on the plays of Sophocles

James C. Hogan introduces every one play by means of highlighting particular and interpretive difficulties proper to that play ahead of turning to a line-by-line research. the road research is accomplished, starting from the meanings of phrases and words that pertain to a number of Greek principles and associations to metaphor and imagery particular to every play in addition to plots and borrowings from previous poetry, kinds, and characterizations.

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I have yielded to the temptation to explain purpose and character, but on the more controversial points I have given the reader an account of, or reference to, other interpretations. Translations are themselves, of course, interpretations. " Where I have differed from the translators in my preferences, I have tried to make clear the grounds for choice. The plays are discussed in the order presented in the Chicago translations. If the reader prefers to read the plays in their chronological sequence, he should, in my judgment, read the Ajax (Aj), Women of Trachis (Tr), Antigone (Ant), Oedipus the King (OK), Electra (El), Philoctetes (Phil), and Oedipus at Colonus (OC).

Sophocles' career began when Aeschylus was still writing and directing for the theater, and for the last fifty years of his life he competed with Euripides, who died in 406, less than a year before Sophocles himself. ). He was the friend of Herodotus and Pericles, watched the building of the Parthenon, attended the plays of Aristophanes, and was a contemporary of the Sophists and Socrates. At least four of the extant plays (Oedipus the King, Electra, Philoctetes, Oedipus at Colonus) were produced after 430, and none seems much earlier than 450.

Among others in this magnificent holiday gathering were the choregoi who sponsored as a civic responsibility the performances of tragedy and the dithyrambic choruses. The festival was a competition, and the victorious choregoi gave parties and made sacrifice for their success and often raised public monuments to commemorate them. Every set of tragedies was followed by a satyr play (a farcical burlesque) and, during one period at least, a comedy in the evening. Just as Dionysus himself embodies both the ecstatic freedom of wine and life with the sacrificial offering of blood (in myth human victims torn limb from limb), so the festival combined the serious and the profane, the saturnalian revel with the death of and lament for the hero.

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