Books: Classics Collected

THE COMPLETE GREEK DRAMA—2 vols. —Whitney J. Gates and Eugene O'Neill Jr.—Random House ($5).

English translators have generally found the Greek tragic poets too much for them, have produced tortured versions in an idiom neither poetic nor colloquial and almost impossible to read. In the joyless task of selecting the best, Editors Oates and O'Neill unaccountably passed up two excellent modern translations: Sophocles' Oedipus the King by William Butler Yeats, Euripides' Alcestis by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald. Otherwise, their handsome and handy collection presents all of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides in about the...

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