There are seven surviving tragedies by Sophocles. Three of them form the Theban Plays, which recount the story of Thebes during and after the reign of Oedipus. Here, David Slavitt translates the remaining tragedies—the "other four plays:" Ajax, Women of Trachis, Electra, and Philocettes.
Punchy and entertaining, Slavitt reads Athena's opening line in Ajax as: "I’ve got my eye on you, Odysseus. Always." By simplifying the Greek and making obscure designations more accessible—specifying the character Athena in place of "aegis-wearing goddess," for example—his translations are highly performable. The Other Four Plays of Sophocles will help students discover underlying thematic connections across plays as well.
David R. Slavitt is a poet, translator, novelist, critic, and journalist. He is author of more than seventy works of fiction, poetry, and poetry and drama in translation.