Faber Members get 10% off their first order

The Burial at Thebes

Seamus Heaney

Out of stock

Buy from
Date Published
All orders are sent via Royal Mail and are tracked: choose from standard or premium delivery.

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 the Antigone, in which language speaks truth to power, then and now.

Critic Reviews

'This book is another example of how lucky our language is to have Seamus Heaney working in it.'

Tom Payne, Daily Telegraph
Critic Reviews

'a scrupulously faithful version, in varied verse forms, and a spare and vigorous tone.'

Neil Corcoran, Guardian
Critic Reviews

'an atmospheric version that gains much energy and dramatic fire from the characterisation. Above all the text acquires further physicality through Heaney's instinctively graceful and earthy feel for the right word.'

Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
Critic Reviews

'good adaptation always sends you back to the original with insights and a need to begin reading all over again. Both of Seamus Heaney's versions of Sophocles do precisely that.'

Thomas, Irish Times
Critic Reviews

'Heaney has found a way to make the play address the great contemporary themes without being didactic... It is resonant with glimpses of today's conflict, yet it remains a classic whose key themes are timeless.'

Gerry McCarthy, Sunday Times

Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry in Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection of poems, appeared in 1966, and was followed by poetry, criticism and translations which established him as the leading poet of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and twice won the Whitbread Book of the Year, for The Spirit…

Read More
More books by Seamus Heaney

Seeing Things
Seamus Heaney