By Professor James C. Hogan B.A. M.A. Ph.D.
James C. Hogan introduces every one play by way of highlighting particular and interpretive difficulties correct to that play earlier than turning to a line-by-line research. the road research is finished, starting from the meanings of phrases and words that pertain to a number of Greek principles and associations to metaphor and imagery particular to every play in addition to plots and borrowings from prior poetry, types, and characterizations.Along together with his exam of the seven extant performs of Sophocles in English translations, Hogan presents a basic creation 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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Additional resources for A commentary on the plays of Sophocles
Apart from changes made by actors, there were defects occasioned even by those whose intentions were to reproduce a sound text. Ancient scholarship in the post-Aristotelian period sought to secure historically accurate texts. Inevitably scholars disagreed. Their notes and emendations, known as scholia, appeared in the margins of ancient manuscripts, and now and then a copyist inadvertently introduced into the new copy a marginal gloss, variant reading, or erroneous correction. Some of these errors are easily spotted, but fourteen hundred years of transcription "codified" others, so that modern scholarship can only make educated speculations about the nature and extent of the corruption.
Without a curtain, in the open air, almost if not quite in the round, with a chorus constantly present and regularly singing and dancing, the Greek theatrical experience was more a ritual enactment than a slice of life. It was more concerned with the intensification and heightening of experience than with its representation. By our standards it was an artificial drama, observant of conventions not only in style and form but in its stories and topics as well. Long accustomed to such artifice and increasingly delighted with the power of rhetoric, the fifth-century Greeks found its means as well as its matter credible and convincing.
Theseus may be their most benevolent advocate, but the decline of Oedipus is precipitated by his wholehearted commitment to saving his city. Although Greek drama was heavily in debt to myth and the heroic Homer, it is never far from vital contemporary issues, and that mix accounts for much of its enduring vitality. Page 16 A Note on the Commentary This commentary is based on the translations published by the University of Chicago Press and edited by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore. It follows the same scheme as my Aeschylus, to which the reader will often find reference.
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