The University of Wisconsin Press

Drama / Classics / Literature & Criticism

Oedipus Rex
A Dramatized Audiobook
A verse translation by David Mulroy

Wisconsin Studies in Classics
Patricia A. Rosenmeyer, Laura McClure, and Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell, Series Editors

Performed by actors of the American Players Theatre and faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Music

“A great work of world literature has at last become a great poem in English. Mulroy’s translation is far superior to other available English verse translations.”
—Robert J. Rabel, editor of Approaches to Homer, Ancient and Modern

Oedipus Rex is the greatest of the Greek tragedies. The story of the mythological king, who is doomed to kill his father and marry his mother, has resonated in world culture for almost 2,500 years. But Sophocles’ drama as originally performed was much more than a great story—it remains a superb poetic script and exciting theatrical experience, now faithfully brought to life in this English translation and audiobook.

David Mulroy’s brilliant verse rendition of Oedipus Rex recaptures the aesthetic and theatrical power of Sophocles’ masterpiece while also achieving a highly accurate translation in clear, contemporary English. Professional actors from the American Players Theatre recreate Sophocles’ pulsing, iambic rhythms with vitality and hypnotic forward momentum. Faculty and students from the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Music perform the choruses and other music, based on ancient Greek modes.

Portrait of author David MulroyDavid Mulroy is professor of classics at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He has translated The Complete Poetry of Catullus, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Sophocles (ca. 497/6–407/6 BCE) was the most acclaimed dramatist of his era, winning more than twenty festival competitions in ancient Athens. He is believed to have written 123 plays, but only seven have survived in a complete form.


“By deviating from the original pace of the play and adapting it around a contemporary audience Mulroy succeeds in attributing the pathos of Sophocles’ Oedipus King. Overall I recommend Mulroy’s translation to both the nonspecialist and the scholar alike. It provides the former with an accessible pace and style and useful background knowledge. The latter will find it interesting as an exercise in manipulating the metre of the original playtext.”

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see Course Books in the left sidebar. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions in the left sidebar.)

Of Related Interest:
The cover of Mulroy's translation of Catullus's complete works.The Complete Poetry of Catullus
Translated and with commentary by David Mulroy

The cover of Mulroy's translation is beige, with a golden cloak pin centered, with tragedy implied.Oedipus Rex
A verse translation by David Mulroy, with introduction and notes

Image of a king's sceptor casting a shadow

March 2012
5 5/8 x 4 7/8

Spoken 2-CD set
$24.95 t

ISBN 978-0-299-28257-8
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
  Review cart contents
Secure checkout

Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.

Updated 5/7/2014

© 2012, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System