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Theban Plays

Translated by Paul Woodruff and Peter Meineck
Introduction by Paul Woodruff

2003 - 304 pp.

Format ISBN Price Qty
Cloth 978-0-87220-586-4
Paper 978-0-87220-585-7
Examination 978-0-87220-585-7

Theban Plays

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This volume offers the fruits of Peter Meineck and Paul Woodruff's dynamic collaboration on the plays of Sophocles' Theban cycle, presenting the translators' Oedipus Tyrannus (2000) along with Woodruff's Antigone (2001) and a muscular new Oedipus at Colonus by Meineck. Grippingly readable, all three translations combine fidelity to the Greek with concision, clarity, and powerful, hard-edged speech. Each play features foot-of-the-page notes, stage directions, and line numbers to the Greek. Woodruff's Introduction discusses the playwright, Athenian theatre and performance, the composition of the plays, and the plots and characters of each; it also offers thoughtful reflections on major critical interpretations of these plays.


Comments on the Meineck and Woodruff translations of Sophocles:

"This edition of the Theban Plays is bound to excite . . . the translations and the quality and directness of Woodruff's discussions are enough to ensure that."
     —James Robson, The Joint Association of Classical Teachers Review


"Presents a readable, clear translation with the assistance students will need to understand these plays and the society that produced them. . . . A worthy addition to Hackett's growing series of translations of classical literature in accessible editions."
     —Anne Mahoney, New England Classical Journal


"The Meineck/Woodruff Oedipus takes us to the dramatic and lyric heights of Sophoclean tragedy."
     —Stanley Lombardo, Department of Classics, University of Kansas


"The powerful and largely accurate translations have detailed individual introductions, stage directions, line numbers for Lloyd-Jones and Wilson's 1990 OCT, associated bibliography, footnotes elucidating the text's basic meaning, and excellent endnotes on textual issues and ambiguities. . . . These eminently readable translations have real potential for teaching."
     —Eleanor Okell, University of Leeds


"Just right—from Woodruff's very fine and accessible Introduction to the suspenseful, poetic, and powerful rendering of the play itself. Meineck's theatrical sensibility and knowledge are evident, yet the text never becomes too 'stagey' nor wanders too far from the Greek."
     —Lisa R. George, Department of Languages and Literatures, Arizona State University
        (on Oedipus Tyrannus)


"A clear, vigorous, spare, actable translation, and with it, excellent apparatus."
     —Rachel Hadas, Department of English, Rutgers University (on Oedipus Tyrannus)


"A lucid, well-paced translation, natural enough in the dialogue to make a good acting version, and remarkably successful in making the choruses clear, lyrical, and yet part of the dramatic movement. Woodruff's rendering of the choruses especially impresses me by the way he manages to render the complex syntax and imagery of the original—often tangled and occasionally obscure in its allusiveness—into clear and genuinely poetic English."
     —Joseph Russo, Department of Classics, Haverford College (on Antigone)


Peter Meineck is Clinical Associate Professor of Classics, New York University, and Artistic Director of the Aquila Theatre Company. He was awarded the 2000 Lewis Galantière Award for Outstanding Translation by the American Translators Association for his translation of Aeschylus' Oresteia, published by Hackett Publishing Company.

Paul Woodruff is Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin. He is co-translator (with Alexander Nehamas) of Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus, and translator of Thucydides, On Justice, Power, and Human Nature and Euripides' Bacchae, all published by Hackett Publishing Company. Among his most recent publications is Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue (OUP), a work that draws on the wisdom of the Greek tragic poets.


To view a complete listing of Hackett ancient Greek tragedies in translation, please click here.

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