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Translated by John Tipton
Seven against Thebes concerns a battle between the sons of Oedipus for control of Thebes. As the play opens, the seven captains of Polyneices stand ready to storm the seven gates of the city, with the seven heroes of Eteocles opposing them. The drama that unfolds has the mysterious resonance of an ancient ceremony, as a messenger announces each warrior in turn, describing the device on his shield. Overshadowed by such archaic ritual and violence, the city awaits its destruction, weighing the lives of citizens and the responsibilities of kings.
In his foreword, Peter Meineck writes, “There is a spiritual muscularity in the language of Aeschylus that Tipton has managed to capture . . . One gets the feeling that Tipton has heeded the advice of Aristotle and placed this play ‘before his eyes,’ speaking each line as it is created.”