Book Reviews

Review: The Oedipus Cycle

The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex / Oedipus at Colonus / AntigoneThe Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex / Oedipus at Colonus / Antigone by Sophocles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I hadn’t read any of these plays since high school, so it was interesting comparing them with what I remembered (which, it turns out, wasn’t much).

Since there are three plays contained in this volume, I’ll do a mini-review of each.

Translation: Francis Storr, 1912

The translator decided to go the Shakespearean route for some reason? Definitely caught me off guard.

Oedipus Rex: 3/5

I still liked it, but rereading this made me realize how much of the plot rests on coincidences, which I wasn’t a super big fan of. But the family dramas here rivaled any one of our present-day TV shows, so I still enjoyed it because obviously.

Oedipus at Colonus: 4/5

Really interesting and revealing regarding how the Greeks viewed family. Also, we get our first glimpse of Antigone, one of my favorite literary characters ever, and she was as awesome as I remembered.

Antigone: 5/5

I have to wonder if, given the time period, Antigone’s fate was intended to be a cautionary tale about not listening to the men in your life. But to my modern sensibilities, mostly she came across as a fierce heroine and I cheered her on as she stood up for her beliefs.

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