Anthony Stephen Knowland (22 March 1919 – 10 December 2006) was a professor of English Literature, specialising in the work of W.B. Yeats, William Shakespeare and classical Greek literature. Apart from his passion for literature, he loved music, was an accomplished pianist, and an enthusiastic cook. A gentle, unassuming person, humorous, warm and kind, he was a committed humanist and pacifist. He had no truck with status, celebrity or power.
He was born in Hove, Sussex, one of seven children of Albert James Knowland and Maria Maud Knowland (née Sturley). Tony was educated at Dulwich College and later at Frensham Heights, Surrey, where he became head boy and studied Latin and Greek with Rex Warner, the eminent classical scholar and novelist. He won an open exhibition to Exeter College, Oxford, in 1938. There he read classics until the outbreak of war, gaining a 'wartime' degree. In 1947, he returned to Exeter College where he read English with Nevill Coghill, the well-known Chaucerian and Shakespearean scholar and man of the theatre. He gained a first-class degree and was invited to Toronto University as lecturer in English in 1950.
As a captain in the Suffolk 3rd Division of the army, Prof Knowland was involved in planning the Second Front. However, always doubtful about the legitimacy of war, he became a conscientious objector before the invasion, and was court martialled in 1944. He was represented at the court martial by Raymond Blackburn and was dismissed from the army service, but was confined to Windsor Castle for two months because of his knowledge of the invasion plans. On his release he was employed as a teacher at Frensham Heights, although within weeks as a civilian he was called up again and had to put his case to the Conscientious Objectors Tribunal at Reading where it was decreed that, having once put himself at risk of imprisonment, he should be allowed to stand down and return to teaching.
In 1953, he took up a post at Magee University, Londonderry, where he was elected to the chair of English. At Magee, as well as directing several Shakespeare plays, he founded a music society at which many distinguished musicians performed, including Julian Bream, Amaryllis Fleming, Alan Loveday, Ralph Homes, Lamar Crowson, Frederick Grinke and the 14-year-old Jacqueline du Pré. Contrary to the prevailing ethos of the university Prof Knowland insisted that Roman Catholics be allowed to join the society.
In 1960 he joined St Clare's, Oxford, and was responsible for directing the academic programme for external London degrees and a liberal arts programme for visiting American students. Prof Knowland became Vice-Principal in 1972.
Tony's professional career took him on visiting professorships to the universities of Connecticut and Munich. He published work on 17th-century drama, translations of Sophocles and Aristophanes and was an authority on W.B. Yeats. His book, W.B. Yeats, Dramatist of Vision was published both in the United Kingdom and America.Electronic versions of some of these works are available through the library at St Clare's, Oxford and Oxford University's Bodleian Library digital archive. Selected works include (dates are dates of authorship or publication unless better dates are available):-
Passionately interested in folk music, Prof Knowland made many recordings from the 1950s onwards of musicians on the west coast of Ireland and these are lodged in Ireland's National Archive. Of particular note are the only surviving recordings of two fiddle players from a travelling family, the Raineys, a CD of which was launched in Dublin in 2006, and which has been hailed as one of the finest examples in existence of the traditional Irish fiddle style. His recordings are featured on the following CDs:-
In December 1943, he married Barbara Amy Morris (1 May 1926 – 4 August 2014), the eldest daughter of John Morris (co-founder of Boriswood publishers) and Pamela Paramythioti (co-founder of St Clare's, Oxford) and granddaughter of the composer Amy Horrocks. They had 5 children and also built a cottage (Castle Cottage) in Renvyle, County Galway, Ireland where their ashes are scattered.
Sophocles is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than, or contemporary with, those of Aeschylus; and earlier than, or contemporary with, those of Euripides. Sophocles wrote over 120 plays, but only seven have survived in a complete form: Ajax, Antigone, Women of Trachis, Oedipus Rex, Electra, Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus. For almost fifty years, Sophocles was the most celebrated playwright in the dramatic competitions of the city-state of Athens which took place during the religious festivals of the Lenaea and the Dionysia. He competed in thirty competitions, won twenty-four, and was never judged lower than second place. Aeschylus won thirteen competitions, and was sometimes defeated by Sophocles; Euripides won four.
William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet, dramatist, prose writer and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of the Irish literary establishment, he helped to found the Abbey Theatre, and in his later years served two terms as a Senator of the Irish Free State. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and others.
In Greek mythology, Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus and either his mother Jocasta or Euryganeia. She is a sister of Polynices, Eteocles, and Ismene. The meaning of the name is, as in the case of the masculine equivalent Antigonus, "worthy of one's parents" or "in place of one's parents". She is the protagonist of the Sophocles play named for her.
Oedipus was a mythical Greek king of Thebes. A tragic hero in Greek mythology, Oedipus accidentally fulfilled a prophecy that he would end up killing his father and marrying his mother, thereby bringing disaster to his city and family.
Creon, is a figure in Greek mythology best known as the ruler of Thebes in the legend of Oedipus.
Philomela or Philomel is a minor figure in Greek mythology who is frequently invoked as a direct and figurative symbol in literary, artistic, and musical works in the Western canon.
Ismene is the name of the daughter and half-sister of Oedipus, daughter and granddaughter of Jocasta, and sister of Antigone, Eteocles, and Polynices. She appears in several plays of Sophocles: at the end of Oedipus Rex, in Oedipus at Colonus and in Antigone. She also appears at the end of Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes.
Oedipus Rex, also known by its Greek title, Oedipus Tyrannus, or Oedipus the King, is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed around 429 BC. Originally, to the ancient Greeks, the title was simply Oedipus (Οἰδίπους), as it is referred to by Aristotle in the Poetics. It is thought to have been renamed Oedipus Tyrannus to distinguish it from another of Sophocles's plays, Oedipus at Colonus. In antiquity, the term "tyrant" referred to a ruler with no legitimate claim to rule, but it did not necessarily have a negative connotation.
Oedipus at Colonus is one of the three Theban plays of the Athenian tragedian Sophocles. It was written shortly before Sophocles's death in 406 BC and produced by his grandson at the Festival of Dionysus in 401 BC.
Eamon Grennan is an Irish poet born in Dublin. He has lived in the United States, except for brief periods, since 1964. He was the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English at Vassar College until his retirement in 2004.
Colonus or Kolonos was a deme of the phyle Aegeis, of ancient Attica, celebrated as the deme of Sophocles, and the scene of one of the poet's tragedies, was situated ten stadia from the gate of the city, called Dipylum, near Plato's Academy and the river Cephissus. It derived its name from two small but conspicuous heights, which rise from the plain a little to the north of the Academy. Hence it is called by Sophocles "the white Colonus". It was under the especial care of Poseidon, and is called by Thucydides the ἱερόν of this god. It is frequently called Colonus Hippius or Kolonos Hippeios or Hippius Colonus or Hippeios Kolonos, both meaning "Colonus of the Horses", to distinguish it from the "Colonus Agoraeus" in Athens. Besides the temple of Poseidon, it possessed a sacred grove of the Eumenides, altars of Athena Hippia, Demeter, Zeus, and Prometheus, together with sanctuaries of Peirithous, Theseus, Oedipus, and Adrastus. According to Greek mythology, Oedipus was buried there, as described by Sophocles, who was born there, in his Oedipus at Colonus. The natural beauties of the spot are described by Sophocles in the magnificent chorus, beginning with these words: “εὐίππου, ξένε, τᾶσδε χώρας ἵκου τὰ κράτιστα γᾶς ἔπαυλα τὸν ἀργῆτα Κολωνόν.
Iophon was a Greek tragic poet and son of Sophocles.
The Burial at Thebes: A version of Sophocles' Antigone is a play by Irish Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, based on the fifth century BC tragedy Antigone by Sophocles. It is also an opera by Dominique Le Gendre.
"Politics" is a poem by Irish poet William Butler Yeats written on May 24, 1938. It was composed during the time of the Spanish Civil War as well as during the pre-war period of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich in Germany. The poem hints at the political situations of Rome, Russia, and Spain, but ultimately discusses topics more relevant to private human interaction rather than public, or political situations. The poem never mentions Germany or Hitler, despite the fact that the "war and war's alarms" surrounding the poem's creation arose from fears of Germany's aggression rather than Italy's, Russia's, or Spain's. Many versions of the text exist: the original typescript of May 1938, the first typescript with hand-written corrections dated August 12, 1938, as well as a final "Coole Edition" of the poem dated June 29, 1939, which was not published until it was included in Last Poems in 1939. Yeats intended for the poem to be printed last in the collection, as an envoi to "The Circus Animals' Desertion", and while a debate as to the true order of the poems has continued since 1939, "Politics" was the last lyric poem Yeats wrote and remains the final work printed in all posthumous editions.
This is a list of all works by Irish poet and dramatist W. B. Yeats (1865–1939), winner of the 1923 Nobel Prize in Literature and a foremost figure in 20th-century literature. Works sometimes appear twice if parts of new editions or significantly revised. Posthumous editions are also included if they are the first publication of a new or significantly revised work. Years are linked to corresponding "[year] in poetry" articles for works of poetry, and "[year] in literature" articles for other works.
Oedipus is a fabula crepidata of c. 1061 lines of verse that was written by Lucius Annaeus Seneca at some time during the 1st century AD. It is a retelling of the story of Oedipus, which is better known through the play Oedipus Rex by the Athenian playwright, Sophocles. It is written in Latin.
Jared Ralph Curtis is Professor Emeritus of English at Simon Fraser University.
Marianne McDonald is a scholar and philanthropist. Marianne is involved in the interpretation, sharing, compilation, and preservation of Greek and Irish texts, plays and writings. Recognized as a historian on the classics, she has received numerous awards and accolades because of her works and philanthropy. As a playwright, she has authored numerous modern works, based on ancient Greek dramas in modern times. As a teacher and mentor, she is highly sought after for her knowledge of and application of the classic themes and premises of life in modern times. In 2013, she was awarded the Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Classics, Department of Theatre, Classics Program, University of California, San Diego. As one of the first women inducted into the Royal Irish Academy in 1994, Marianne was recognized for her expertise and academic excellence in Irish language history, interpretation and the preservation of ancient Irish texts. As a philanthropist, Marianne partnered with Sharp to enhance access to drug and alcohol treatment programs by making a $3 million pledge — the largest gift to benefit behavioral health services in Sharp’s history. Her donation led to the creation of the McDonald Center at Sharp HealthCare. Additionally, to recognize her generosity, Sharp Vista Pacifica Hospital was renamed Sharp McDonald Center.
The Oxford University Classical Drama Society (OUCDS) is the funding body behind the triennial Oxford Greek Play, an institution that has lasted for over 130 years.
Ian C. Johnston is a Canadian author and translator, a retired university-college instructor and a professor emeritus at Vancouver Island University.