Oedipus at Colonus
Wisconsin Studies in Classics
Best-selling translator David Mulroy completes the trilogy of Sophocles’
Oedipus at Colonus is the third in Sophocles’ trilogy of plays about the famous
king of Thebes and his unhappy family. It dramatizes the mysterious death of
Oedipus, by which he is transformed into an immortal hero protecting Athens.
This was Sophocles’ final play, written in his mid-eighties and produced posthumously.
Translator David Mulroy’s introduction and notes deepen the reader’s
understanding of Oedipus’ character and the real political tumult that was shaking
Athens at the time that Sophocles wrote the play. Oedipus at Colonus is at
once a complex study of a tragic character, an indictment of Athenian democracy,
and a subtle endorsement of hope for personal immortality.
As in his previous translations of Oedipus Rex and Antigone, Mulroy combines
scrupulous scholarship and textual accuracy with a fresh poetic style. He
uses iambic pentameter for spoken passages and short rhymed stanzas for choral
songs, resulting in a text that is accessible and fun to read and perform.
“A joy to read. . . . Mulroy invites readers to reevaluate and discover a new appreciation for this often difficult play. Readers will appreciate his eye (and especially his ear) for detail, and his talent for recapturing much of the majesty and magic of Sophocles’ original.”
—Bryn Mawr Classical Review
“David Mulroy's verse translation is metrical and clarifying, his lines passionate, dynamic, and efficient, moving swiftly toward their fated end. The play's tragic personae are drawn so sharply they seem exposed, as to an X-ray. It is as if Mulroy has a cell phone that connects him directly to the classical world. This is a superb contribution to Ancient Greek studies.”
—Kelly Cherry, author of A Kind of Dream: Stories
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LC: 2014009155 PA
180 pp. 5 x 8