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Prometheus Bound and Other Plays: Prometheus…
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Prometheus Bound and Other Plays: Prometheus Bound, The Suppliants, Seven… (udgave 1980)

af Philip Vellacott

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,978106,027 (4.05)20
Aeschylus (525-456 BC) brought a new grandeur and epic sweep to the drama of classical Athens, raising it to the status of high art. In Prometheus Boundthe defiant Titan Prometheus is brutally punished by Zeus for daring to improve the state of wretchedness and servitude in which mankind is kept. The Suppliantstells the story of the fifty daughters of Danaus who must flee to escape enforced marriages, while Seven Against Thebesshows the inexorable downfall of the last members of the cursed family of Oedipus. And The Persians, the only Greek tragedy to deal with events from recent Athenian history, depicts the aftermath of the defeat of Persia in the battle of Salamis, with a sympathetic portrayal of its disgraced King Xerxes.Philip Vellacott's evocative translation is accompanied by an introduction, with individual discussions of the plays, and their sources in history and mythology.… (mere)
Medlem:ampersand_duck
Titel:Prometheus Bound and Other Plays: Prometheus Bound, The Suppliants, Seven Against Thebes, The Persian (Penguin Clas
Forfattere:Philip Vellacott
Info:Penguin Classics 1980 (1961), Edition: New Impression, Paperback
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:drama, Greek, classical, Penguin

Detaljer om værket

The Persians; Prometheus Bound; Seven Against Thebes; The Suppliants af Aeschylus

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» Se også 20 omtaler

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2016 (review can be found at the link - which is a LibraryThing page)
https://www.librarything.com/topic/220674#5622411 ( )
  dchaikin | Jun 21, 2020 |
The Persians and Other Plays is a collection of plays and commentary about plays by Aeschylus (525/4 - 456 BCE).

The book contains the following:

The Persians
Seven Against Thebes
The Suppliants
Prometheus Bound

Each play comes with a thorough introduction of the play itself as well as details of what we (think we) know about the history of the plays performances and how they may have influenced other Classical plays and playwrights, references in which inevitably have been used to date the plays themselves.
This is followed by more commentary and notes on the plays and on related plays that may have existed.

For example, it appears from the commentary that it has long been unclear in what order Aeschylus wrote the plays:

The production of 472 is the only one by Aeschylus that is known to have consisted of four plays whose stories were, on the face of it, unrelated - indeed, they were not even placed in proper chronological order. The first play was Phineus, about an episode in the saga of the Argonauts. This was followed by The Persians; then, jumping back to the heroic age, by Glaucus of Potniae, about a man who subjected his horses to an unnatural training regime and was devoured by them after crashing in a chariot race; and then by a satyr play about Prometheus ("Prometheus the Fire-Bearer" or "Fire-Kindler"). Repeated efforts have been made to find method behind the apparent madness of this arrangement, so far with little success.

As entertaining as it is to imagine someone making a simple mistake when noting down the running order of the plays in Ancient times, this must be quite frustrating to Classicists.

It took me way longer to read this collection than I thought but I don't regret a single minute of it.

While some of the concepts discussed and displayed in the plays were not instantly recognisable to a 20th- and 21th-century reader, the context an explanatory notes provided by Alan H. Sommerstein was so excellent that each of the plays not only made sense but actually made it a joy to discover how Aeschylus' may have raised smiles in some and incensed others of his audiences.

And some ideas and points of view in his plays - especially the description of the Persian's defeat (in The Persians), the exposition that women may refuse marriage (in The Suppliants), and some of the rather humanist views of Prometheus (in Prometheus Bound) - we quite different from what I had expected. Or rather, different from what I have come to expect from the Ancient Greek world when coming to Ancient Greek drama after reading the Greek myths (in whichever version: Apollodorus, Ovid, or any of the modern retellings). But even coming to Aeschylus with some familiarity of other playwrights such a Sophocles, I found Aeschylus surprisingly empathetic, satirical, and ... oddly modern.

CHORUS: You didn't, I suppose, go even further than that?
PROMETHEUS: I did: I stopped mortals foreseeing their death.
CHORUS: What remedy did you find for that affliction?
PROMETHEUS: I planted blind hopes within them.
CHORUS: That was a great benefit you gave to mortals.
PROMETHEUS: And what is more, I gave them fire.

It is easy to think of Prometheus only as the rebel who went against Zeus' wishes and brought fire to mankind, but there is more to him. I loved how Aeschylus focuses not on the fire-bringing alone but also on his shared humanity, and on the prophecy that Prometheus knew of that would lead to the decline of Zeus' power, the proverbial Götterdämmerung of the Ancient Greek gods.

PROMETHEUS:
It's very easy for someone who is standing safely out of trouble to advise and rebuke the one who is in trouble.
I knew that, all along. I did the wrong thing intentionally, intentionally, I won't deny it: by helping mortals, I brought trouble on myself. But I certainly never thought I would have a punishment anything like this, left to wither on these elevated rocks, my lot cast on this deserted, neighbourless crag. Now stop lamenting my present woes: descend to the ground and hear of my future fortunes, so that you will know it all to the end. Do as I ask, do as I ask. Share the suffering of one who is in trouble now: misery, you know, wanders everywhere, and alights on different persons at different times.
( )
  BrokenTune | May 14, 2020 |
Some have compared Prometheus to Jesus Christ. Certainly the opening scene of Aeschylus's play, with Prometheus splayed upon a rock as he is bound by Hephaestus, invites the comparison. I would not go so far and see the interplay between the Greek gods to be the relevant context for this scene. Played out at the "world's limit" in a bleak setting the drama portrays Prometheus suffering punishment for making humans "intelligent and masters of their minds". (line 444)

Prometheus' crime is not the only reason for his punishment for the chorus tells us that there is a war going on between the "Old" gods (Olympians) and the new generation of Gods. Zeus is seeking to maintain his primacy while Prometheus and his brothers are the dangerous new gods on the block. Atlas is suffering as well carrying the weight of the whole world on his back. The scales are not even - their is nothing like fairness or justice in this world. Prometheus is doomed even as he is visited by Io who is also suffering due to Hera's jealous rage over Zeus's attentions.

Being a god does not seem to lead to a completely pleasant life - there is strife and anger at every turn even for the most powerful. The winners in this play seem to be humans who do not have to relinquish the gifts endowed them by Prometheus. However, even these can be seen as a two-edged sword for our ancestors who had to endure hardships of many kinds in the struggle of living in the world. Prometheus cries out "O sky that circling brings light to all, you see how unjustly I suffer!" (lines 1091-2) Could that be our own cry even today? ( )
  jwhenderson | May 10, 2019 |
I rate this work as high as I do only for its classic interest; it is hard to view it as compelling drama in the modern world. Though award winning in its own time, theatre has moved on and left this sort of writing long behind, with all action happening offstage and delivered to the audience as long expository speeches by an annoying chorus that is by turns whiny, pompous, and groveling. It is always interesting to see the historical background of a field you are involved in, but this is not what I would classify among the best of classical drama. It doesn't hold a candle to the Oedipus Cycle, or even the author's own Oresteia. It also suffers in that these are mainly fragments of plays, or parts of trilogies or tetrads that are the only remaining parts of the work, so they feel unfinished, or like they start in the middle, which does them no benefit. Overall, recommended for people interested in historical theatre, or in the period in general, but for people wanting compelling drama, probably should look somewhere else. ( )
  Devil_llama | Dec 28, 2017 |
An excellent collection of Ancient Greek plays which have stood the test of time. The four plays herein - translated ably by Philip Vellacott - are, along with the three plays of the Oresteia, all that remains of Aeschylus' work.

'Prometheus Bound' is the best, and the reason I picked up this book in the first place. Prometheus' struggle has always been, to my mind, the most compelling of all the Greek myths, but even so I was surprised at just how much depth Aeschylus discovered in the tale. 'Prometheus Bound' is a commentary on tyranny, rationalism, faith, mortality, justice and hubris all rolled into one (in a total of about thirty pages, no less!), with intriguing little suggestions that the story - benevolent Prometheus against the tyrannical Zeus - may not be as clear-cut as is often supposed. I am now even more fascinated by the story of Prometheus than I was going in, and am disappointed that the play's follow-ups, 'Prometheus Unbound' and 'Prometheus the Fire-Bringer', have not survived into modern times.

Having wanted to read just 'Prometheus Bound', the other three plays in the collection turned out to be a nice bonus. All four plays had plenty of poetic turns of phrase and a lofty, yet very human, morality. 'The Suppliants' sees a kingdom take in a group of refugee women who have fled forced marriages, with the king resolving to defy their would-be husbands by force if necessary. 'Seven Against Thebes' tells the story of an assault on the seven-gated city of Thebes, with a brother-vs-brother tragedy that has no small amount of pathos. The final play, 'The Persians', wasn't in my opinion as stellar as the others, but still has enough about it to be worth a read.

All in all, the translated plays were surprisingly accessible (no matter how many ancient classics I read, like The Iliad and The Odyssey, I am somehow always still amazed at just how well they come across) and I feel much more confident about the prospect of reading more Ancient Greek classics going forward. I've always wanted to read Lysistrata by Aristophanes and the Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes. Having enjoyed this book so much, I'm probably going to add Aeschylus' Oresteian trilogy to my list too. ( )
1 stem Mike_F | Mar 20, 2017 |
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Morshead, E D. A.Oversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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This LT Work is an anthology of four plays by Aeschylus, to wit:

The Persians,
Prometheus Bound,
Seven Against Thebes, and
The Suppliants (a/k/a The Suppliant Maidens).

Please do not combine this anthology with any of the individual plays, or with any other collection. Thank you.
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Wikipedia på engelsk (2)

Aeschylus (525-456 BC) brought a new grandeur and epic sweep to the drama of classical Athens, raising it to the status of high art. In Prometheus Boundthe defiant Titan Prometheus is brutally punished by Zeus for daring to improve the state of wretchedness and servitude in which mankind is kept. The Suppliantstells the story of the fifty daughters of Danaus who must flee to escape enforced marriages, while Seven Against Thebesshows the inexorable downfall of the last members of the cursed family of Oedipus. And The Persians, the only Greek tragedy to deal with events from recent Athenian history, depicts the aftermath of the defeat of Persia in the battle of Salamis, with a sympathetic portrayal of its disgraced King Xerxes.Philip Vellacott's evocative translation is accompanied by an introduction, with individual discussions of the plays, and their sources in history and mythology.

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