logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
Sophocles
Sophocles (Greek: Σοφοκλῆς, Sophoklēs) is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides. According to the Suda, a 10th-century encyclopedia, Sophocles wrote 123... show more
Sophocles (Greek: Σοφοκλῆς, Sophoklēs) is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides. According to the Suda, a 10th-century encyclopedia, Sophocles wrote 123 plays during the course of his life, but only seven have survived in a complete form: Ajax, Antigone, The Women of Trachis, Oedipus the King, Electra, Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus. For almost 50 years, Sophocles was the most-fêted playwright in the dramatic competitions of the city-state of Athens that took place during the religious festivals of the Lenaea and the Dionysia. He competed in around 30 competitions, won perhaps 24, and was never judged lower than second place. Aeschylus won 14 competitions, and was sometimes defeated by Sophocles, while Euripides won only 4 competitions.

The most famous tragedies of Sophocles feature Oedipus and also Antigone: they are generally known as the Theban plays, although each play was actually a part of a different tetralogy, the other members of which are now lost. Sophocles influenced the development of the drama, most importantly by adding a third actor, thereby reducing the importance of the chorus in the presentation of the plot. He also developed his characters to a greater extent than earlier playwrights such as Aeschylus.
show less
Birth date: 0495-12-29
Died: 0405-12-29
Sophocles's Books
Recently added on shelves
Sophocles's readers
Share this Author
Community Reviews
markbell1
markbell1 rated it 3 weeks ago
Perhaps second only to Shakespeare and Moliere in depicting his characters' inner life on stage. This translation is as good as a strictly literal one in giving us the playwright's voice while maintaining his meaning.
Julian Meynell's Books
Julian Meynell's Books rated it 1 year ago
spoilers Philoctetes is the last extant play of Sophocles that I have read and for some reason that I cannot put my finger on my least favorite. The play concerns Odysseus and Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles, travel to Lemnos to recover the bow of Heracles from Philoctetes without which they can...
Julian Meynell's Books
Julian Meynell's Books rated it 1 year ago
This is probably considered the worst play be Sophocles to come down to us and while I have still one more play to read by Sophocles this is my favorite so far. It is structured in a bizarre way revolving around Deianeira for the first three-quarters of the play and then around her husband Hercules ...
Julian Meynell's Books
Julian Meynell's Books rated it 1 year ago
It is interesting reading Electra where the subject matter was also treated by Aeschylus and Euripides. I haven't read Euripides treatment, but I think I preferred Aeschylus treatment, because his way of writing is so overwrought and it suits the subject matter better. None the less Sophocles trea...
Julian Meynell's Books
Julian Meynell's Books rated it 1 year ago
Spoilers This play by Sophocles is about the circumstances surrounding Ajax's death towards the end of the Trojan war. It has a strange structure to a modern reader. We take up the action in a conversation between Odysseus and Athena, after Odysseus is trailing the man who has killed all the Gre...
see community reviews
Need help?