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Word Count: 1,257
In the undertaking of the translation of any literary work from one language to another many things must be considered The first of these things is the way in which the translator will handle the cultural differences that have no parallel in the language into which he is translating Also how he will attempt to retain the original meanings of words that may no longer exist or that do not make sense in any language but their own and how closely he can adhere to the original text without it losing comprehensiveness This is especially true for a play as ancient and highly revered as Sophecles Antigone This play was written around 441 BC A translator must take caution in the reproduction of a play as classic as Antigone because any version of it that strays too far from the original will lose the mystique and grandeur of a play written in such a different time The antiquity of the play may also prove beneficial to the translator however because it is this which enables him to have extensive creative license no one alive today can claim to know exactly how the play is intended to be read This opportunity for individual technique is exemplified and exercised by the two authors whose works are the basis of this essay H D F Kitto and Michael Townsend The first difference I noticed between the two translations was that the one produced by Kitto was substantially more proper than Townsends It gives the initial impression of being more of what a Greek tragedy should be florid formal and full of imagery Through this the translator succeeds in making his version of the play seem older Even in the very beginning of the play Kitto is able to make Antigones opening line sound more dramatic While Townsend opens his version with the simplistic modern sentence structure of My darling sister Ismene we have had a fine inheritance
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