- New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
- Biographies of the authors
- Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
- Footnotes and endnotes
- Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
- Comments by other famous authors
- Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
- Bibliographies for further reading
- Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
The pinnacle of classical drama in Greece, the three-part, 2,500 year-old Oedipus cycle remains a touchstone of Western culture. Nearly perfect technically, the plays feature headstrong heroes, intense plots, and breathtaking imagery that have influenced generations of artists, philosophers, and statesmen. These fresh, historically faithful renditions by renowned translator Peter Constantine bring new life to civilization’s most meaningful dramas.
Rich in sex and violence, the plays follow the tragic downfall of King Oedipus, a man who mistakenly believes he can control his own destiny. In Oedipus the King, we watch as the hero learns the truth about his past, including his murder of his father, Laius, and marriage to his mother, Jocasta. Written just before the death of Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus features a more subdued tone as the blind, exiled king reflects on his passing from this world. Antigone, the earliest written of the three, presents the powerful story of the iron-willed daughter of Oedipus as she takes a fatal stand against her uncle Creon, the new ruler of Thebes. Favoring her own moral code to the dictates of an unjust ruler, Antigone becomes the first heroine in Western literature and a model of civil disobedience.
Pedro de Blas holds degrees in law and classics and has taught Greek at Columbia University and the CUNY Latin/Greek Institute. He has acted in several productions of Greek tragedy in the original and he is the author of the introduction and notes to Essential Dialogues of Plato, also published by Barnes & Noble Classics.