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 #2042 The One-Eyed Cyclops
 #2043 Circe the Sorceress
 #2044 Scylla and Charybdis
 #2045 The Country of the Dead
 #2046 The Homecoming
 #2047 The Slaying of the Suitors
 #2823 A Touch of Murder(+$10)
 #2824 Family Affairs(+$10)
 #2825 Waiting in the Wings(+$10)
 #2826 What Shall We Do About Claudius?(+$10)
 #2827 Poison Is Queen(+$10)
 #2828 Some Justice(+$10)
 #2829 Queen of Heaven(+$10)
 #2830 Reign of Terror(+$10)
 #2832 Hail Who?(+$10)
 #2833 Fool's Luck(+$10)
 #2835 Old King Log(+$10)
 #748 Euripides: Medea(+$30)
 #1612 Staging Classical Tragedy(+$30)
 #1613 Staging Classical Comedy(+$30)
 #1634 The Role of Theatre in Ancient Greece(+$30)
 #1635 The Changing Classical Audience for Theatre(+$30)
 #1636 Myth, History, and Drama(+$30)
 #1637 Theatrical Devices in Classical Theatre(+$30)
 #33925 The Odyssey(+$70)
 #9196 A Critical Guide to the Odyssey(+$90)
 #11790 Greek Drama: From Ritual to Theater(+$90)
 #31128 Women in Classical Greek Drama(+$90)
 #1318 Oedipus the King(+$100)
 #1319 Oedipus at Colonus(+$100)
 #1320 Antigone(+$100)
 #33923 Ancient Greek Heroes: Myth and Modern Vision(+$199.95)
 #2822 I, CLAUDIUS(+$236)
 #10181 The Odyssey(+$239.95)
 #2041 The Perilous Voyage: Homer's Odyssey(+$299.75)
 #1317 Sophocles: The Theban Plays(+$419.9)

Product Description:
#2042 Mythology - The One-Eyed Cyclops (Run time 15 min.) DVD $59.95

A quick retelling of the fall of Troy (showing the wooden horse), and the visit to the Land of the Lotus-Eaters, where the desire to dream sweet dreams overcomes many of the Greeks until Odysseus has them forcibly brought aboard his boats again. Crossing the wine-dark sea, they come to the Land of the Cyclops where they come a-cropper of Polyphemus, the murderous giant who disobeys the law of the gods to be hospitable to strangers. Only the cunning of Odysseus saves the Greeks, and, as the rosy-fingered dawn approaches, they escape. (15 minutes)


#2043 Mythology - Circe the Sorceress (Run time 15 min.) DVD $59.95

Having escaped from the Cyclops, the Greeks are made welcome by Aeolus, King of the Winds, who gives Odysseus a bag of winds that would otherwise blow him off course. Within sight of Ithaca and overcome by distrust, his men open the bag to see what treasures Odysseus is hiding. The ensuing storm takes them to the Island of Circe, the sorceress who drugs men and turns them into swine. Through the intervention of Hermes, messenger of the gods, Odysseus is able to withstand the spell, free his men, and learn that, before he can reach home, he must visit Tiresias in the Land of the Dead. (15 minutes)


#2044 Mythology - Scylla and Charybdis (Run time 15 min.) DVD $59.95

Forewarned by Circe, Odysseus has his men plug their ears with wax so they will not hear the Sirens' song, and has himself lashed to the mast. Thus restrained from responding to the lure of promised wisdom, Odysseus navigates between the monstrous man-devouring beast Scylla and the wandering ship-shattering rocks of Charybdis. Bemoaning the loss of yet more of his men, Odysseus progresses to the next stage of his journey. (15 minutes)


#2045 Mythology - The Country of the Dead (Run time 15 min.) DVD $59.95

Arriving in Hades, Odysseus consults Tiresias, the soothsayer of Thebes, to ascertain the cause of his many misfortunes and learns that Poseidon is the father of the Cyclops. Meeting the shade of Agamemnon, he inquires after the cause of the Argive's death and is in turn warned about the fickleness of women. Arriving next on the Island of the Cattle of the Sun, Odysseus' men disregard the warnings not to eat Apollo's cattle; disobeying, they incur the wrath of the god and further delay their homecoming. (15 minutes)


#2046 Mythology - The Homecoming (Run time 15 min.) DVD $59.95

After seven years, Odysseus the much-enduring leaves Calypso and is shipwrecked once again, this time to be tossed ashore in the Land of the Phoecians, where Nausicaa provides the hospitality the gods require of all mortals and Odysseus tells the story of his adventures to King Alcinous. Landing finally in Ithaca, he is greeted by the goddess Athene disguised as a beggar, who advises him on the strategy for regaining his palace and his wife. (15 minutes)


#2047 Mythology - The Slaying of the Suitors (Run time 15 min.) DVD $59.95

Odysseus and Telemachus are reunited, and their plan almost undone by the old nurse who washes the feet of Odysseus-disguised as a beggar-and recognizes the scar on his foot. Penelope is nearly at the end of her ability to put off the suitors, her nightly unravelling of the robe she is supposed to be weaving for her marriage having finally been betrayed. In the contest to see who can bend the mighty bow of Odysseus, the suitors are slain and Odysseus is reunited with his faithful Penelope. (15 minutes)


#2823 Classical Drama & Literature - A Touch of Murder (Run time 51 min.) DVD $69.95

Claudius begins his story with the magnificent banquet which marked the seventh anniversary of the Battle of Actium. Augustus, Livia, Agrippa, and Marcellus are among those attending. Augustus is displeased because Agrippa wants to leave Rome; Agrippa is too old to be Augustus' successor, but dislikes Marcellus, who is being groomed for the throne. Marcellus' popularity is evinced by the tumultuous ovation he receives from the crowds at the annual Roman Games; Augustus' absence from Rome give Livia the opportunity to summon Marcellus to the Palace and poison him. (51 minutes)


#2824 Classical Drama & Literature - Family Affairs (Run time 52 min.) DVD $69.95

Livia has arranged for the marriage of Augustus' spoiled daughter, Julia, to her son Tiberius, who remains in love with his ex-wife Vipsania. Meanwhile, Drusus, Tiberius' brother, dies from wounds received in fighting the Germans. Augustus orders Tiberius to leave Rome, believing Agrippa's two sons to be the best hope for Rome's future... until Livia promises to take care of them. (52 minutes)


#2825 Classical Drama & Literature - Waiting in the Wings (Run time 51 min.) DVD $69.95

Despite Livia's pleas, Augustus will not allow Tiberius to return to Rome. He has also taken Gaius' sudden and inexplicable death badly. Morals are degenerating everywhere in Rome, Augustus' daughter Julia having entertained half the Roman nobility. Then Lucius suddenly dies. Tiberius is summoned back to Rome, where he meets up again with his mother and the aging Augustus, who has made Postumus his heir. But Tiberius has been adopted into Caesar's family as well, and is in line to the succession. And Tiberius is Livia's son. (51 minutes)


#2826 Classical Drama & Literature - What Shall We Do About Claudius? (Run time 52 min.) DVD $69.95

The Roman legions have suffered their worst defeat in four hundred years at the hands of the Germans, and Tiberius is dispatched with a fresh army to secure the Rhine bridgeheads. Meanwhile Claudius, working on his book, meets Livy and Asinius Pollio, who reveal that both his father, Drusus, and his grandfather, Marc Antony, were poisoned because they believed in the Republic. Livia proceeds in the hatching and execution of further plots to enable Tiberius' accession to the throne. Claudius is married to a giantess who towers above him; Livia and Augustus join in the deafening crescendo of cruel mockery, as Claudius, with twitching head, grins foolishly. (52 minutes)


#2827 Classical Drama & Literature - Poison Is Queen (Run time 52 min.) DVD $69.95

Claudius has been married for a year, and is the father of a baby boy. At the Senate, the aging Emperor Augustus wears his best robes to welcome Germanicus and Tiberius on their triumphant return from crushing the rebellious Germans. Claudius tells his brother Germanicus all he has discovered about Livia's systematic destruction of all who have stood in the way of her ambitions. Even Augustus falls prey to her poisons. A handful of additional murders and the substitution of a false will for Augustus' own wishes, and Tiberius becomes Emperor. (52 minutes)


#2828 Classical Drama & Literature - Some Justice (Run time 53 min.) DVD $69.95

Tiberius is now Emperor. Only one man had stood between him and the throne-Claudius' brother, Germanicus-and now he too is dead of suspected poisoining. Notably absent from his funeral, Livia and Tiberius listen from within the palace to the chants of the hostile crowd without. Agrippina, the widow of Germanicus, swears vengeance, and worries about the future of her sons Nero, Drusus, and Caligula. The family are interrupted at dinner by cries of alarm and the smell of burning. The little monster, Caligula, has set fire to the house. (53 minutes)


#2829 Classical Drama & Literature - Queen of Heaven (Run time 53 min.) DVD $69.95

Tiberius spends his time conducting trials for treason and indulging in orgies, a pastime in which he is encouraged by the young Caligula. Tiberius is himself the object of incessant conspiracies aimed at using his power and succeeding to his throne. Claudius' grandmother, Livia, once the most beautiful woman in the world, now 80 years old and a shriveled shell of her former self, agrees to tell him the whole story of her deeds in return for his promise to assist her in her quest for deification. When she dies, Claudius puts a coin in her mouth to pay the ferryman for the journey across the River Styx. (53 minutes)


#2830 Classical Drama & Literature - Reign of Terror (Run time 52 min.) DVD $69.95

Livia is dead but the murders and intrigues continue; Antonia warns her son Claudius that Tiberius is systematically killing off all relatives who might succeed him. The principal instigator is Sejanus, Tiberius' trusted but untrustworthy second-in-command. Tiberius learns the truth, Sejanus is murdered, and the Senate steps are piled high with the bodies of Sejanus' friends and relatives. Claudius reflects that his marriage with Sejanus' sister might have cost him his life, had he not been his mother's son; instead, he divorces Aelia and returns her dowry-in full! (52 minutes)


#2832 Classical Drama & Literature - Hail Who? (Run time 53 min.) DVD $69.95

Caligula has turned the Palace into a brothel, run by Senators and their wives, where gambling and orgies regularly take place. Claudius has been appointed door-keeper, and never far away are the German soldiers who act as the Emperor's personal bodyguards. Claudius, now in his fifties, lives in the poorer quarter of town-a small price to pay, he is advised, for remaining alive. Caligula's madness proceeds apace, until at last he is assassinated. To be the Emperor's bodyguard, the Praetorian Guard must find an Emperor, so why not Claudius? Despite his protests that he is a Republican, Claudius is crowned with the gold chaplet. The Guard lift him high on their shoulders as the shout rings out, "Long live Claudius!" (53 minutes)


#2833 Classical Drama & Literature - Fool's Luck (Run time 53 min.) DVD $69.95

The Emperor Claudius is advised to keep his Republican sentiments to himself, for to relinquish his power to the Senate would necessitate the death of the entire Imperial family. Things progress steadily under Claudine rule: finances improve, administrative reforms are made, he keeps his promise to his grandmother Livia to press for her deification. Ignoring his friend herod's advice to trust no one, Claudius summons a former enemy back to Rome as his confidant; Silanus, caught in a web of lies, tries to kill Claudius and is banished. (53 minutes)


#2835 Classical Drama & Literature - Old King Log (Run time 53 min.) DVD $69.95

Claudius is persuaded to remarry-and agrees to marry another schemer, Agrippinilla, mother of Nero. Claudius, having a premonition of his own death, knows that he has signed the death warrant of his son Britannicus. The Sybil has foretold that Nero is destined to rule after Claudius-and that, after becoming Emperor, Nero will kill his mother. Claudius is old and tired; he has completed writing the history of his family, in which he describes himself as Old King Log because he has been "as deaf and blind and wooden as a log." Poisoned by his wife, he dies alone during the night, as the Sybil speaks to him for the last time. (53 minutes)


#748 Classical Drama & Literature - Euripides: Medea (Run time 87 min.) DVD $89.95

This is the stunning Kennedy Center production of Euripides' great classic about a woman driven by emotion beyond the brink of rationality. With Zoe Caldwell as Medea and Judith Anderson as the nurse. The English text is by Robinson Jeffers. (87 minutes)


#1612 Classical Drama & Literature - Staging Classical Tragedy (Run time 30 min.) DVD $89.95

Understanding Greek tragedy, not through post-Ibsenist, post-modernist, post-Method eyes but in terms of what the ancient playwright may have intended, requires going beyond the text to the staging. For the staging defines the relationship between chorus and actors, between actors and audience, and between playwright and play. Using the theatre at Epidauros as an example-it was built a century after the heyday of Greek classical theatre but is well preserved-this program identifies the physical parts of the acting space and, with specific reference to the Oresteia, shows how the plays would have been staged in Aeschylus' time. (30 minutes)


#1613 Classical Drama & Literature - Staging Classical Comedy (Run time 36 min.) DVD $89.95

Tragedy upholds traditional values and comedy attacks them-which explain much of the change from Aristophanes to Plautus, from Old Comedy to New, reflecting as it does the change from Athenian democracy to Roman totalitarianism. Wary of creating permanent spaces that might be used for mass meetings, the Romans constructed temporary wooden structures to house their theatrical productions. Since these structures were made of wood, they did not survive. To determine how Roman comedy was staged, evidence must be sought elsewhere-in surviving artifacts, contemporary Latin descriptions, and, above all, in the texts themselves. This program uses Plautus' Miles Gloriosus (The Braggart Warrior) to test the stageability of a classical comedy as authentically as possible, combining a full-scale reconstruction of the lost stage, the ancient text, and a still-vital comic style. (36 minutes)


#1634 Classical Drama & Literature - The Role of Theatre in Ancient Greece (Run time 23 min.) DVD $89.95

This program looks at the theatres of Herodus Atticus, Epidauros, Corinth (where Arion is said to have taught the dithyramb), and many others to explain the design of the ancient theatre, the synthesis of art forms that was ancient Greek drama, the origins of tragedy, the audience in classical times, the comparative roles of writer/director and actors, and the use of the surrounding landscape in many plays. (23 minutes)


#1635 Classical Drama & Literature - The Changing Classical Audience for Theatre (Run time 21 min.) DVD $89.95

In the 50 years separating Aeschylus from the later works of Euripides, theatre changed: plays had been performed in honor of the god Dionysus and for the enjoyment of spectators; now they were targeted at spectators who took pleasure in the spectacle itself. Where once the text itself set the stage and described the scene, sets came into use-at first to stimulate imagination, later to imitate it; in Roman times, there were troupes of traveling actors; and by AD 100, the theatre had acquired a permanent stage. (21 minutes)


#1636 Classical Drama & Literature - Myth, History, and Drama (Run time 22 min.) DVD $89.95

The remains of ancient theatres are spread across the territory of Greece, haunted by the shadows of Homer, of the myths that fill the epics and the tragedies, of the not-so-distant past of human sacrifice: a theatre built on a high acropolis, perhaps religious in character, an amphitheatre in a major city of the Achaean League, the theatre of ancient Psophis, scene of Euripides' Alcmeon in Psophis, the smallest theatre preserved, at a site renowned in Homeric times. (22 minutes)


#1637 Classical Drama & Literature - Theatrical Devices in Classical Theatre (Run time 20 min.) DVD $89.95

This program covers the purpose, design, and uses of the ekkyklema for showing the victims and perpetrators of off-stage violence; the deus ex machina, a crane mechanism to suspend gods above the stage; Charonian steps, for ghosts from the underworld; and other means of entrance and exit. It also explains the reasons for New Comedy, its audience, and its physical requirements. (20 minutes)


#33925 Classical Drama & Literature - The Odyssey (Run time 51 min.) DVD $129.95

Contemporary Western society revolves around celebrity-and ancient Greek culture was no different, as this program demonstrates with perceptive comparisons of the two worlds. Scholarly analysis and splendid re-enactments bring new life to Homer's epic, giving it both a historical and personal context. For long-ago Greek listeners enraptured with famous warriors and athletes, Homer fashioned a subtle moral dilemma: can one pursue fortune and recognition without endangering a far more valuable treasure-namely, the love and stability of family? Clearly, The Odyssey still engenders sociologically relevant discussion. A BBCW Production. (51 minutes)


#9196 Classical Drama & Literature - A Critical Guide to the Odyssey (Run time 31 min.) DVD $149.95

It is said that every road movie and novel about a defining journey owes a debt to the Odyssey. This imaginative program uses the poem's division into groupings of books as a framework to allow Dr. Tom Winnifrith, of Warwick University; Dr. Douglas Cairns, of Leeds University; and Ken Dowden, senior lecturer at Birmingham University, to analyze the oral tradition and key elements of the story line. Readings and dramatizations from the Odyssey enhance the discussion of recurrent themes, characterization, relationships, morals, and the cumulative effect of the ten-year journey in shaping and seasoning Odysseus. (31 minutes)


#11790 Classical Drama & Literature - Greek Drama: From Ritual to Theater (Run time 57 min.) DVD $149.95

Why do plays well over two millennia old still speak to audiences today? This program traces Greek theater from ancient harvest rites to the golden age of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes. Key scenes from Antigone, Oedipus Tyrannus, Medea, and Lysistrata show how these works remain relevant by exploring the timeless themes of honor, class, gender, sexuality, and politics. Essential concepts such as catharsis, hamartia, and the use of masks and a chorus are discussed. Scholarly commentary by Helene Foley of Barnard College, Jeffrey Henderson of Boston University, Princeton University's Robert Fagles, and Peter Meineck of NYU's Aquila Theatre Company emphasizes the vitality of classical drama and the essential role it played in the everyday lives of the ancient Greeks. A Films for the Humanities & Sciences Production. (57 minutes)


#31128 Classical Drama & Literature - Women in Classical Greek Drama (Run time 38 min.) DVD $149.95

They gave their names to some of the most memorable plays in Western history, and, thousands of years later, they are still very much a presence in contemporary culture. Who were the women of classical Greek drama? In this program, the presentation of powerful women in Medea, Antigone, and Lysistrata is contrasted with the circumscribed role of women in Athenian society by Princeton University's Froma Zeitlin; Helene Foley, of Barnard College; Jeffrey Henderson, of Boston University; Robin Mitchell-Boyask, of Temple University; Mary-Kay Gamel, of the University of California, Santa Cruz; and Peter Meineck, producing artistic director of the critically and academically acclaimed Aquila Theatre Company. Film clips from notable productions support this in-depth discussion of women and their representation in ancient Greece. A Films for the Humanities & Sciences Production. (38 minutes)


#1318 Classical Drama & Literature - Oedipus the King (Run time 120 min.) DVD $159.95

Sophocles often won the leading prize at the Dionysia, the principal dramatic festival of Athens; but Oedipus the King was a runner-up, winner of the second prize. Posterity, however, considers the play second to none. The play tells the beginning of the Oedipus saga, setting the stage and creating the characters who will continue the story to its conclusion in Antigone. With Michael Pennington, John Gielgud, and Claire Bloom. (2 hours)


#1319 Classical Drama & Literature - Oedipus at Colonus (Run time 132 min.) DVD $159.95

Bearer of an almost unspeakable, immutable fate, Oedipus yet feels himself a man chosen-that is, favored-by the gods. Now an old man, blind and outcast, Oedipus wanders through Greece guided by his daughter Antigone until he comes to Colonus, where he knows he will die. Protected by the ruler of Thebes against the armies of Creon who have come in pursuit, he curses his son Polynices for indifference and ingratitude. Oedipus in this play is old and rails against the indignities of old age. Sophocles, nearly 90 at the time of its composition, apparently wrote the play to prove he was of sound mind; his son, it seems, was trying to claim Sophocles' estate by accusing his father of senility. With Anthony Quayle as Oedipus, John Shrapnel as Creon, Juliet Stevenson as Antigone, and Kenneth Haigh as Polynices. (2 hours)


#1320 Classical Drama & Literature - Antigone (Run time 111 min.) DVD $159.95

Antigone is perhaps the most easily accessible of all the great classical tragedies, its theme clear and up-to-date: the conflict between moral and political law. Now the tale of Oedipus and his family comes to its end-he, his wife Jocasta, his sons, and now, at the last, his daughter, all dead. Antigone is not the only victim in the play; Creon too comes to a tragic downfall-although he repents in time, bureaucratic ritual results in the deaths of Creon's son and wife, burdening him with guilt as well as grief. With Juliet Stevenson, John Shrapnel, and John Gielgud. (111 minutes)


#33923 Classical Drama & Literature - Ancient Greek Heroes: Myth and Modern Vision (Run time min.) DVD $259.9

This lavishly produced two-part series offers fresh interpretations of the Jason and Odysseus stories, drawing parallels between the travails of these mythical heroes and the complexities of 21st-century Western society. Jason's voyage becomes an exploration of gender roles and sexual identity, and Odysseus appears strikingly modern in his struggle for domestic happiness. With commentary from University of Birmingham professor Ken Dowden, author and classics professor Edith Hall, and other respected scholars, Ancient Greek Heroes takes the viewer on two very informative journeys. Original BBCW broadcast title: Ancient Greek Heroes. 2-part series, 51 minutes each.


#2822 Classical Drama & Literature - I, CLAUDIUS (Run time 58 min.) DVD $295.95

Robert Graves' extraordinary book has been brought to the screen with the best of everything: authenticity, integrity, intelligence, wit, talent, intellectual curiosity-above all, a sense that ancient Rome is as real as contemporary Dallas. Of course the characters of I, Claudius are larger than life. But then, everyone who has seen the colossal statues erected by or to them knows that they were indeed larger than life!Claudius, Emperor of Rome, is nearing the end of his life and has decided to set down the history of his family from 50 B.C. to 50 A.D. The Sybil has prophesied the importance of his words:Nineteen hundred years or near,Clau-Clau-Claudius shall speak clear.Thus Robert Graves, poet, historical novelist, and lover of the Classical world, begins this version of those stirring times, when the Claudian family was the most powerful in the world-and ran the Empire rather like a family business.Augustus rules the Roman Empire and is ruled in turn by his beautiful and ruthless wife Livia, who in fact controls the affairs of state. Livia is determined that the Imperial throne remain in her family, and will dispose, by any and all means, of anyone who stands in the way of her ambition. Augustus has one child, Julia, by an earlier marriage; it is Julia's offspring who constitute the main threat to Livia's plans for the succession of Tiberius, her son by an earlier marriage.Livia's grandson, Claudius, is a sickly child who stammers, limps, twitches, and appears to be the half-wit of the family. In his adolescence, he is advised to cultivate this image for the sake of survival, and while doing so, he writes a series of historical works.Time, circumstances, and the ever-active Livia remove Marcellus, Agrippa, Lucius, Gaius, Postumus, Germanicus, even Augustus. At last (in Epirsode 6), Tiberius becomes Emperor, a sadistic and perverted man. Tiberius is succeeded by Claudius' nephew, Caligula, whose reign holds unprecedented terrors; Claudius walks a razor's edge, in constant fear of being murdered by the insane Caligula, who is, inevitably, assassinated.All recognized forms of government have collapsed, the Army holds power, and then the unthinkable comes to pass: Claudius is proclaimed Emperor by the Guards. Claudius strives for a return to the Republic, but his sensible and just rule is undermined by the rampant ambitions of the power-mad who surround him. He awaits death with ironic resignation, accepting with sorrow that the Republic will never be restored but confident in trusting the Sybil's prophecy, that his story will be read in nineteen hundred years "or near."The stellar cast is headed by Derek Jacobi, who plays Claudius (and ages from 17 to 64 in the process), Sian Phillips as Livia, and John Hurt as Caligula. The program adviser was Robert Erskine, an acknowledged expert in Rome of this period. Music was composed by David Wulstan and performed by him and The Clerkes of Oxonford, based on research into the music and instruments of the period. (13programs, 58 minutes each)


#10181 Classical Drama & Literature - The Odyssey (Run time min.) DVD $299.9

Although written thousands of years ago, the Odyssey has resonated down through the centuries with undiminished power. This video/CD-ROM combination offers a comprehensive analysis of a true classic of Western literature.


#2041 Mythology - The Perilous Voyage: Homer's Odyssey (Run time min.) DVD $359.7

A brilliant and warm, easily accessible and classically correct introduction to-or review of-what has been called, variously, the first novel or the first comedy. Sir Michael Hordern, dressed as Homer, speaks the beautifully translated text, sometimes facing the camera as the bard reciting his epic, most often as the narrator of the wonderful illustrations that heighten comprehension of the action as well as of those poetic touches, like the wine-dark sea, that characterize Homer. The six programs cover all the main episodes; each is 15 minutes long.


#1317 Classical Drama & Literature - Sophocles: The Theban Plays (Run time min.) DVD $479.85

The three Theban plays-Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone-tell the story of Oedipus and his family: of how the great King of Thebes was destroyed after he learned his true identity, of his mysterious death years later at Colonus, and how his daughter Antigone, inheritor of his destiny, defied the power of the state embodied in her mother's brother, King Creon. Although the three plays carry forward the development of one legend, The Theban Plays were not written to be performed as a group and are therefore not a trilogy in the sense of The Oresteia. Composed almost across the length of Sophocles' long writing career, they stand, in fact, as a series of studies of the relationships between fathers and children: in Oedipus the King, the son kills his father and takes possession of his mother; in Oedipus at Colonus, the father disowns his rebellious children; in Antigone, the daughter who stood by her father is destroyed. It is no mean task to capture for modern audiences the excitement that these plays held for the original Greek audiences, distanced for us as they are by 2,500 years of reverence and the conventions of classical Greek drama. In this superb version this task has been accomplished by means of an aggressively contemporary translation that remains true to the text; setting the plays in the past yet not the distant past, not any pinpointable past; and, dispensing with masks, using the finest classical British actors. 3-part series, 2 hours each.




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