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Ajax is enraged because Achilles' armor was awarded to Odysseus, rather than to him. He vows to kill the Greek leaders who disgraced him. Before he can enact his extraordinary revenge, though, he is tricked by the goddess Athena into believing that the sheep and cattle that were taken by the Achaeans as spoil are the Greek leaders. He slaughters some of them, and takes the others back to his home to torture, including a ram which he believes to be his main rival, Odysseus.
Tipton takes the colloquial directness of Robert Fagles and the blunt eroticism of Anne Carson to the breaking point in this experimental translation of one the stranger and more unyielding works by one of Western civilization's founding dramatists. Tipton's opening dialogue between Athena and Odysseus astonishes, and his treatment of the chorus ventures into the territory of the Ontological-Hysteric Theatre: "where will it end/ the count of years wandering/ the toll the statistics of missiles/ in flight that fall/ back to the ground/ where a crater accuses." Flood Editions are published by Chicago poet Devin Johnston and poet Michael O'Leary.