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Oedipus the King | [Sophocles]

Oedipus the King

In the hands of Sophocles, the master dramatist, the anguished tale of a man fated to kill his father and marry his mother retains its power to shock and move beyond any Freudian reference.
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Publisher's Summary

In the hands of Sophocles, the master dramatist, the anguished tale of a man fated to kill his father and marry his mother retains its power to shock and move beyond any Freudian reference. In this new translation, performed by an outstanding cast led by Michael Sheen, the searing inevitability facing Oedipus proves as shocking as it was 2,500 years ago when it was first presented in the theatre at Athens. Translated by Duncan Steen.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

(P)1999 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.; ©1999 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (86 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Aaron USA 01-01-05
    Aaron USA 01-01-05
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    "Crackles with Fire"

    This is a mesmerizing production. The actors are clearly understood and they pull you into the action by their enthusiastic and precise performance. A nice soundtrack adds to the atmosphere. One of the great works of western man...beautifully presented. Highly recommended.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Washington, DC, USA 05-27-05
    John Washington, DC, USA 05-27-05
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    "absolutely awesome"

    I was caught off guard by this production, with its multiple parts and chorus, after listening to so many books in single voice. The translation is contemporary, and may come as a surprise, if you're expecting a classic production of a classic tragedy. You'll know you're listening to a tragedy. It is heart-wrenching without ever being maudlin. Highly recommended.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Quaranta 07-13-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Outstanding audiobook"

    This is one of my favorite audiobooks. I was enthralled for the duration. The translation was modern but appropriate and expressive, and the performances were very well done. Listening to the play as performed by these fine actors brought a life to it that simply reading it never did. I will agree with one reviewer who said "some voices could be better amplified"; the voice of Tiresias was too quiet so I had to turn it up until Oedipus was practically yelling. That's my only negative; other than that small complaint, this was perfect. Please make more!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cara Plano, TX, USA 08-22-06
    Cara Plano, TX, USA 08-22-06
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    "different from book version"

    Good, but different wording than the version I'm reading (the "enriched" edition with a red cover and a Macaulay Caulkin horror face.)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.B. Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 01-22-15
    J.B. Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 01-22-15 Member Since 2009

    Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.

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    "Sophicles - Why Didn't G-d Keep You Hear Forever?"

    A tragic hero in Greek mythology, Oedipus accidentally fulfilled his prophecy received from the gods. At an early age he learned, that he would kill his father and marry his mother, and thereby bring disaster on his city and his family. He decided to alter his life to cheat his way out of his fate. Despite his efforts, in fact, as a result of his efforts, he met his Democlean destiny.

    This play was written in or about 429 B.C. This story was conceived, created, played and revered by audiences in the gap between the bronze and iron ages. (Wish our society today was as sophisticated as the Greeks were or should have been given the thinking this play generates.)

    Imagine this the Greeks of 429 B.C. had a settled concept of making our living selves distinct from the non-human animals. No longer were we equivalent to any common animal. We had developed an understanding of humanity - the quality of compassion or consideration for others. The play reminds us though, that our assimilation into mortality; comes with a higher degree of horrifics. With increased knowledge we have increased agony. Because we can see deeper we can bleed more vociferously. And just how calamitously will one scream when one learns he is seeding through yourr own mother?

    The given horror and how it torments Oedipus is the makeup of the great play. The audio’s acoustics are bad, the acting is not always great. The story, as difficult as one might believe, is a travel one should not miss out on in his/her life – the voyage through the play not its contents.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vanessa B. Lund Huntley, MT, US 01-17-13
    Vanessa B. Lund Huntley, MT, US 01-17-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great Production...Questionable Translation"
    Would you try another book from Sophocles and/or Michael Sheen and full cast ?

    Yes


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Oedipus At Colonus which is not available from Audible. After that I'll be listening to The Aeneid by Virgil using Audible's version of the Fagles translation.


    What does Michael Sheen and full cast bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The performance is very well done and moves along at a goodly pace with the appropriate emotional responses reflected by all actors. The characterization of Creon is a slightly weaker than the others but really doesn't detract from the overall production.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Consistent with Aristotle's critique of tragedy, Sophocles' writing most definitely evokes pity and fear. It also encourages a number of deep questions, philosophical and theological.


    Any additional comments?

    While the performance was superb, I struggled with the translation. I had a difficult time finding out who the translator was for this version. Audible could not help me so I purchased it hoping it was Storr, Plumetre, or Young. I couldn't match this with ANY of my versions so contacted Naxos books. The translator is Duncan Steen and, given what I now know, I would never have purchased this book because the translation is not classical and is modernized in what I consider to be a non-scholarly manner. Too many idioms and expressions that modern audiences relate to but Sophocles probably never intended. This made the production too crude for me, despite the obvious skill of the performers. Hopefully someone will produce Fagles' translation with an equally talented cast and we'll have a truly great work!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Arlington, MA, USA 04-08-07
    Donald Arlington, MA, USA 04-08-07 Member Since 2005
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    "True classic"

    Well read. Inimitable tragedy. Some voices could be better amplified.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    James geneva, AL, USA 02-03-06
    James geneva, AL, USA 02-03-06
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    "Oedipus The King"

    Well read, great ambient noise. Sets the mood well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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