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Playing: In manus tuas (Sheppard)& Into Thy Hands (Dove) by John Sheppard & Jonathan Dove
BBC Radio 3

Sophocles' odes and fragments (audio)

Reginald Gibbons and Oliver Taplin discuss Sophocles' writing. Gibbons reads from a Sophoclean ode to Cyprian Aphrodite in which the author describes the goddess of love as a force as strong as death, one who causes madness and loss of restraint. Gibbons and Taplin then proceed to discuss the thousand plus fragments of Sophoclean literature that have been found preserved in a variety of ways: - notated in works of later writers, found in rubbish and some even wrapped around mummified bodies in Egypt. Gibbons highlights the pleasure of finding these otherwise lost fragments of Sophoclean literature, explaining how they provide an insight not only into the writing but the people who used and then discarded them. Taplin and Gibbons conclude by explaining that despite the discovery of these fragments, certain aspects of the literature remain beyond our grasp; namely that we cannot experience the plays in the same manner in which they were performed in their original setting and thus lose certain aspects of the inference and interpretation.

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