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The Burial at Thebes

A Version of Sophocles' Antigone

Translated by Seamus Heaney; Sophocles

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

From one of our leading poet-translators comes this bold new exploration of a classical masterwork: Antigone. Sophocles' great 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, daughter of Oedipus, learns that her two brothers have killed each other, having been forced onto opposing sides of the battle. When Creon, the 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 new translation, commissioned by Ireland's renowned Abbey Theatre to commemorate its centenary, Seamus Heaney exposes the darkness and the humanity present in Sophocles' drama, and inks these embattled forces with his own modern and masterly touch.

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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

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Translated by Seamus Heaney; 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."

  • Seamus Heaney Keith Barnes
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Burial at Thebes

A Version of Sophocles' Antigone

Translated by Seamus Heaney; Sophocles

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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