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

James C. Hogan introduces each one play via highlighting particular and interpretive difficulties correct to that play sooner than turning to a line-by-line research. the road research is complete, starting from the meanings of phrases and words that pertain to numerous Greek principles and associations to metaphor and imagery particular to every play in addition to plots and borrowings from prior poetry, kinds, and characterizations.Along along with his exam of the seven extant performs of Sophocles in English translations, Hogan offers a basic creation 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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Extra resources for A commentary on the plays of Sophocles

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In another context forswearing might indeed offend Zeus, but that context would be one in which man meant to defy the god. This example may seem trivial, but the question why the gods do not save Antigone is not, and it illustrates the same point. Ismene refuses to help in the burial of Polyneices; there is no indication that she incurs divine wrath for that refusal. Antigone invokes divine law as sanctioning the burial, and events prove that the gods do punish those who deny proper burial. Yet the gods do not demand right conduct of her with respect to men, only in regard to themselves.

It is a very rare occurrence when a word in one language precisely duplicates denotation and connotation of a word in another language. Context is all important, and translators quite sensibly vary their diction in English to reflect contextual nuance. In an effort to give the reader a surer grasp of Greek meanings and patterns, I have transliterated Greek words more often in this commentary than in the Aeschylus. Thus the common adjective/substantive kakos (the -os suffix is regularly masculine in gender; -ê transliterates the feminine suffix eta; -on the neuter singular, -a the neuter plural) appears as "traitor," "liar," "sin," and "evil," among others, in Oedipus the King.

Man must respect and fear divine power; he is not expected to love the gods. To illustrate with small matters, both Creon (OK 64449) and Lichas (Tr 399401) take oaths, and Zeus is the god who oversees the sanctity of oaths. Creon swears truly and is taken seriously; Lichas forswears himself, though the truth is soon forced from him. Some of my students have connected the false oath with Lichas' terrible death, seeing in it the indirect wrath of Zeus. Such an interpretation confuses the listener's respect for the invocation of deity with Zeus's concern for this social and legal institution.

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