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

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Synopsis

Commissioned to mark the centenary of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 2004, The Burial at Thebes is Seamus Heaney's new verse translation of Sophocles' great tragedy, Antigone - whose eponymous heroine is one of the most sharply individualized and compelling figures in western drama. Faithful to the 'local row' and to the fierce specificity of the play's time and place, The Burial at Thebes honours the separate and irreconcilable claims of its opposed voices, as they enact the ancient but perennial conflict between family and state in a time of crisis, pitching the morality of private allegiance against that of public service. Above all, The Burial at Thebes honours the sovereign urgency and grandeur of Heaney's Sophoclean original, in which language speaks truth to power, then and now.
 

About Seamus Heaney

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Seamus Heaney was born in Mossbawn, Ireland on April 13, 1939. He received a degree in English from Queen's College in Belfast in 1961. After earning his teacher's certificate in English from St. Joseph's College in Belfast the following year, he took a position at the school as an English teacher. During his time as a teacher at St. Joseph's, he wrote and published work in the university magazine under the pen name Incertus. In 1966, he became an English literature lecturer at Queen's College in Belfast. His first volume of poems, Death of a Naturalist, went on to receive the E.C. Gregory Award, the Cholmondeley Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. After the death of his parents, Heaney published the poetry volumes The Haw Lantern, which includes a sonnet sequence memorializing his mother, and Seeing Things, a collection containing numerous poems for his father. His other works included Field Work, Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996, and Human Chain. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 and the PEN Translation Prize in 1985 for his translation of Sweeney Astray from Irish into English. He died following a short illness on August 30, 2013 at the age of 74.
 
Published March 4, 2004 by Faber & Faber. 58 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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