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The Other Four Plays of Sophocles

Ajax, Women of Trachis, Electra, and Philoctetes

By Sophocles
Translated by David R. Slavitt

There are seven surviving tragedies by Sophocles. Three of them form the Theban Plays, which recount the story of Thebes during and after the reign of Oedipus. Here, David Slavitt translates the remaining tragedies—the "other four plays:" Ajax, Women of Trachis, Electra, and Philoctetes.

Punchy and entertaining, Slavitt reads Athena's opening line in Ajax as: "I’ve got my eye on you, Odysseus. Always." By simplifying the Greek and making obscure designations more accessible—specifying the character Athena in place of "aegis-wearing goddess," for example—his translations are highly performable. The Other Four Plays of Sophocles will help students discover underlying thematic connections across plays as well.

Praise for David R. Slavitt

"Slavitt's translation is... lively and sometimes witty."— Times Literary Supplement, reviewing Slavitt's translation of Seneca

"The best version of Ovid's Metamorphoses available in English today... It is readable, alive, at times slangy, and actually catches Ovid's tone."— Philadelphia Inquirer, reviewing Slavitt's translation of The Metamorphoses of Ovid

"Slavitt's ability is clearly in evidence... These translations are rendered in lucid, contemporary English, bringing before us the atrocities, horrors, and grotesqueries of Imperial Rome."— Classical Outlook, reviewing Slavitt's translation of Seneca

"Excellent translations that suit the ear and strengthen the feeble spirit of the time... One will do well to read these hymns, these poems, and find nourishment in them in Slavitt's translations."— Anglican Theological Review, reviewing Slavitt’s translation of Hymns of Prudentius

About the Authors

David R. Slavitt is a poet, translator, novelist, critic, and journalist. He is author of more than seventy works of fiction, poetry, and poetry and drama in translation.

Johns Hopkins University Press
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The Theban Plays

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