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Price: $81.50

Hardback 208 pp.
mm x mm



Publication date:
May 2003

Imprint: OUP US

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Translated by Reginald Gibbons and Charles Segal

Series : Greek Tragedy in New Translations

Oedipus, the former ruler of Thebes, has died. Now, when his young daughter Antigone defies her uncle, Kreon, the new ruler, because he has prohibited the burial of her dead brother, she and he enact a primal conflict between young and old, woman and man, individual and ruler, family and state, courageous and self-sacrificing reverence for the gods of the earth and perhaps self-serving allegiance to the gods of the sky.
Echoing through western culture for more than two millennia, Sophocles' Antigone has been a touchstone of thinking about human conflict and human tragedy, the role of the divine in human life, and the degree to which men and women are the creators of their own destiny. This exciting new translation of the play is extremely faithful to the Greek, eminently playable, and poetically powerful.
For readers, actors, students, teachers, and theatrical directors, this new translation of one of the greatest plays in the history of the western world provides the best combination of contemporary, powerful language, along with superb background and notes on meaning, interpretation, and ancient beliefs, attitudes, and contexts.


  • "I highly recommend [Antigone]. Translators Reginald Gibbons and Charles Segal have donea good job in steering a reasonable course between a literal prose rendition and a poetic paraphrase. There is a very good detailed introduction to the play, an essay on the problems of translating it, a glossary of proper nouns, and three appendices about the date, the history of the myth, and how the play was transmitted. As a director, most valuable are the extensive notes that are found in the back of the book [and] stage blockings added to the texts by the editors."--Frank Behrens, Brattleboro Reformer
  • "Sophocles' text is inexhaustibly actual. It is also, at many points, challenging and remote from us. The Gibbons-Segal translation, with its rich annotations, conveys both the difficulties and the formidable immediacy. The choral odes, so vital to Sophocles' purpose, have never been rendered with finer energy and insight. Across more than two thousand years, a great dark music sounds for us."--George Steiner, Churchill College, Cambridge
  • "These two new additions to Oxford's 'Greek Tragedy in New Translations' series only add to the luster of the previous releases. Each is firmly packed with insightful introductions, comprehensive and numbered notes, glossaries, and up-to-date bibliographies (the plays' texts take up about half of each volume). The collaboration of poet and scholar in each volume produces a language that is easy to read and easy to speak (compare, for instance, the Watchman's first lines in Shapiro and Burian's Agamemnon with those in Lattimore's 1947 translation). Each volume's introduction presents the play's action and themes with some detail. The translators' notes describe the linguistic twists and turns involved in rendering the text into a modern poetic language. Both volumes are enthusiastically recommended for academic libraries, theatre groups, and theatre departments."--Library Journal [starred review of Oresteia and Antigone]

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Reginald Gibbons is Professor of English at Northwestern University. His books of poetry include It's Time and Homage to Longshot O'Leary. Charles Segal was Walter C. Klein Professor of the Classics at Harvard University. His books include dipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledgend phocles' Tragic World: Divinity, Nature, Society. The two also translated Euripides' Bakkhai.

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Special Features

  • An exciting new translation of Antigone, combining the talents of a poet and a noted classical scholar
  • "The choral odes, so vital to Sophocles' purpose, have never been rendered with finer energy and insight." --George Steiner