By Professor James C. Hogan B.A. M.A. Ph.D.
James C. Hogan introduces every one play by means of highlighting particular and interpretive difficulties suitable to that play prior to turning to a line-by-line research. the road research is finished, starting from the meanings of phrases and words that pertain to numerous Greek principles and associations to metaphor and imagery particular to every play in addition to plots and borrowings from past poetry, types, and characterizations.Along along with his exam of the seven extant performs of Sophocles in English translations, Hogan offers a normal advent to the theatre in Sophocles’ time, discussing staging, the conventions of the Greek theatre, the textual content of the performs, and mythology and faith.
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Extra info for A commentary on the plays of Sophocles
It is characteristic Greek thinking to attribute both human success and failure to a god, even when no particular deity can be named. To have divine help is a sign of favor (3939a) as well as reason for praise; one of the larger ironies of the play is that this famed and favored ruler is revealed as most hateful in the eyes of the gods (see 816 and 1360). 37 Hesiod describes the Sphinx as the daughter of Chimaera (or on some interpretations Echidna) and Orthos (Theogony 32627). The former is part lion, part snake, part goat, the latter a monstrous dog.
These lyric meters vary a great deal in their rhythm and dynamics, and in many cases their combination with certain types of scene, for example lament or physical suffering, offers us an index to their expressive values. For these and other reasons there is much to argue about in the matter of staging Greek tragedy. Very often our views come down to more or less explicit assumptions about categories such as realism and illusion. In the notes on staging I have tried to represent fairly the most reasonable modern views, but this selection is naturally colored by my doubts that we should think of Greek tragedy as a theater that attempted to create the illusion of life or a naturalistic setting.
Where I have differed from the translators in my preferences, I have tried to make clear the grounds for choice. The plays are discussed in the order presented in the Chicago translations. If the reader prefers to read the plays in their chronological sequence, he should, in my judgment, read the Ajax (Aj), Women of Trachis (Tr), Antigone (Ant), Oedipus the King (OK), Electra (El), Philoctetes (Phil), and Oedipus at Colonus (OC). While topics and problems are generally taken up as they appear, the reader should note the indexes.