Problems of Translation

  • Peter D. Arnott


Even the briefest account of the Greek drama would be incomplete without some words on the only means by which it can be known to the majority of its readers. With the decline of classical studies, translation ceased to be a mildly amusing literary exercise and became an art in its own right. It is the translator’s task to bridge the gap of centuries and inspire in the modern public the same emotions that the works aroused in the Greeks at first performance. Thus he is in the unique position of being both audience and creator. He must be alive to every implication of the original and have the art to convey them to others in terms they will understand. It is a difficult and responsible position. Too often translation becomes a distorting glass through which only occasional glimpses of the original are visible. Many are attracted to translation without the necessary qualifications. The poet with an exquisite feeling for words but insufficient scholarship may produce work beautiful in itself but with little relation to the original.


Greek Tragedy Everyday Speech Loeb Classical Library Greek Drama Modern Public 
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© Peter D. Arnott 1959

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  • Peter D. Arnott

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