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Oedipus Rex
A Dramatized Audiobook
A verse translation by David Mulroy, with introduction and notes

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.


Author. Photo credit, Name

David 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.

Author. Photo credit, Name

Sophocles (ca. 497/6 B.C.E.–407/6 B.C.E.) 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 complete form. His life spanned the rise and fall of the Athenian Empire.





“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.”


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Of Related Interest


Oedipus Rex
A verse translation by David Mulroy, with introduction and notes


The Complete Poetry of Catullus
Translated and with commentary by David Mulroy

March 2012
5.625 x 4.875

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Paper $9.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-28257-8
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