Together with Euripides and Aeschylus, Sophocles is considered the
greatest playwright of Ancient Greece. He was born in Colonos near Athens,
his father was a wealthy armour maker and he got a thorough education. His
friends and associates were influential people, amongst them Herodotus and
At 28 he won the first prize in a dramatic competition, defeating Aeschilus, and was to win 20 other first prizes in his life, as well as many other.
Of Sophocles' best known tragedies are Antigone, Oedipus Rex and Electra. He often wrote plots about people's destinies and the consequenses of their actions. He liked the ideal, and wanted to show his characters as people should be and act.
He introduced a third actor on stage, increased the choir from 12 to 14 individuals, wrote more complicated plots and liked to write about religious and moral themes. He was very prolific and wrote over 120 plays.
Sophocles lived for more than 90 years; there is a story that tells us that his children were beginning to get tired of waiting for their in-heritance and tried to declare him senile at the areopagus. He then read his new play Oedipus Colonus aloud, and the court ruled that there was no way he was losing it.
"The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves"
Sophocles, Oedipus Rex
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