The Burial at Thebes

A Version of Sophocles' Antigone

Seamus Heaney, translating Sophocles

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Sophocles' play, first staged in the fifth century B.C., stands as a timely exploration of the conflict between those who affirm the individual's human rights and those who must protect the state's security. During the War of the Seven Against Thebes, Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus, learns that her brothers have killed each other, having been forced onto opposing sides of the battle. When Creon, king of Thebes, grants burial of one but not the "treacherous" other, Antigone defies his order, believing it her duty to bury all of her close kin. Enraged, Creon condemns her to death, and his soldiers wall her up in a tomb. While Creon eventually agrees to Antigone's release, it is too late: She takes her own life, initiating a tragic repetition of events in her family's history.

In this outstanding new translation, commissioned by Ireland's renowned Abbey Theatre to commemorate its centenary, Seamus Heaney exposes the darkness and the humanity in Sophocles' masterpiece, and inks it with his own modern and masterly touch.

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Reviews

Praise for The Burial at Thebes

Praise for Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf :

"Heaney has created something imperishable and great that is stainless--stainless, because its force as poetry makes it untouchable by the claw of literalism: it lives singly, as an English language poem." --James Wood, The Guardian

In the Press

Celebrating the Life and Work of Seamus Heaney | Work in Progress
Seamus Heaney’s death last week left a rift in our lives, and in poetry, that won’t easily be mended. A Nobel Laureate, a devoted husband, a sharp translator, a beloved friend, and the big-hearted leader of the “Government of the Tongue,” Seamus was a poet of conscience...
- FSG's Work in Progress


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About the Author

Seamus Heaney, translating Sophocles

Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. His poems, plays, translations, and essays include Opened Ground, Electric Light, Beowulf, The Spirit Level, District and Circle, and Finders Keepers. Robert Lowell praised Heaney as the "most important Irish poet since Yeats."

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Burial at Thebes
A Version of Sophocles' Antigone
Seamus Heaney, translating Sophocles

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
January 2014
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466855489
ISBN10: 1466855487
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 88 pages
$9.27

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks
November 2005
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780374530075
ISBN10: 0374530076
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 88 pages
$13.00
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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