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Strength Of Translations Essay

818 words - 4 pages

So far in the tragedy of Oedipus the King, Oedipus has blinded himself following Queen Jocasta’s act of suicide due to his realization the he has committed tremendous actions. The chorus and Oedipus both mention how there is suffering in the world and how Oedipus has suffered greatly. The cause for Oedipus’ suffering was the Greek god, Apollo, as Apollo did create the prophecy. Oedipus states his wrong-doing while the Chorus consoles him. Just as the Chorus continues to try to relieve Oedipus, the Creon arrives and speaks with Oedipus, trying to help him through these troubling times as well. While the translations of this passage differs in their wording, they do convey the same message of ...view middle of the document...

He includes strong phrases such as casting away the great blasphemer while Sheppard simply says “polluted”, giving a weaker meaning to the text by comparison. Another example of the lesser tone is when Oedipus is continuing his lift what what he has done, following the last quote. Sheppard says “O Polybus and Corinth, and the home/Men called my father’s sores festered beneath that beauty, that ye reared” (Sheppard 1384). Fagles however uses a more “romantic” tone as Oedipus states instead “O Polybus, Corinth - what a handsome prince you raised, under the skin, what sickness to the core” (Fagles 1336). Again, Fagle’s use of words that carry more emotion conveys stronger feelings to what Oedipus says; in this case however, the use of different diction is also another contributing factor to strength of the translations. In addition to tone, the wording and general use of literary devices differ, and overall style differs greatly which impacts the strength of the translations. For example, Fagles uses metaphor and personification in certain areas that Sheppard does not. For example Oedipus talks about how he does not deserve to have eyes, thus he blinded himself, then refers to misery, a so-called product of the gods. “I am mistery! I, her best son, reared” (Fagles 1336). Fagles personifies the city of Thebes as “she” refers to the city itself, while Oedipus is compared to misery using a...

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