Classicist Robert Littman returns Antigone to Athens stage - with a twist

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Karin Mackenzie, (808) 956-4051
Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Arts and Sciences Community and Alumni Relations
Posted: Jul 2, 2014

Robert Littman
Robert Littman

Question: What do UH Mānoa classicist professor Robert Littman and great ancient Greek dramatist Sophocles have in common?

Answer: Antigone (the famous Greek tragedy about the daughter of the incestuous marriage between King Oedipus of Thebes and his mother Jocasta).

Renowned classicist Littman and award-winning poet Ruth Fainlight returned Sophocles’ classic tragedy Antigone to Athens, Greece at the National Archaeological Museum last month in celebration of International Museum Day. Littman and Fainlight collaborated to produce a skillful and faithful translation of Antigone through music and verse.

Their unique partnership resulted in a critically-acclaimed interpretation of Antigone, in which the title character tries to secure a respectable burial for her brother Polyneices, even though he is seen as a traitor to Thebes and the law forbids even mourning for him, punishable by death.

Pemy Zouni, a beloved and great Greek actress, recited parts of Antigone in Modern Greek, while Athens native Nikos Mertzanos sang parts in English.

The College of Languages, Linguistics, & Literature of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa provides an extensive and complementary curriculum in English and foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics. Highly specialized centers and laboratories add remarkable breadth and depth to course offerings, and give students cultural and real-world learning experiences. The faculty effectively integrates teaching with practical application, contributing to the college’s world-class stature in many areas. As one of the four colleges that comprise the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, LLL is also part of the largest academic unit on campus.

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