His family was wealthy and well established; his father, Euphorion, was a member of the Eupatridaethe ancient nobility of Attica,  though this might be a fiction that the ancients invented to account for the grandeur of his plays. Cleisthenes' reforms included a system of registration that emphasized the importance of the deme over family tradition.
Life[ edit ] A marble relief of a poet, perhaps Sophocles Sophocles, the son of Sophilus, was a wealthy member of the rural deme small community of Hippeios Colonus in Atticawhich was to become a setting for one of his plays, and he was probably born there.
Sophocles' first artistic triumph was in BC, when he took first prize in the Dionysia theatre competition over the reigning master of Athenian drama, Aeschylus.
Instead of following the usual custom of choosing judges by lot, the archon asked Cimon and the other strategoi present to decide the victor of the contest. Plutarch further contends that following this loss Aeschylus soon left for Sicily. For this, he was given the posthumous epithet Dexion receiver by the Athenians.
The most famous is the suggestion that he died from the strain of trying to recite a long sentence from his Antigone without pausing to take a breath.
Another account suggests he choked while eating grapes at the Anthesteria festival in Athens. A third holds that he died of happiness after winning his final victory at the City Dionysia.
Aeschylus was the first of the 3 renowned prize-winning Greek writers of tragedy (Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides). He may have won either 13 or 28 prizes. The smaller figure may refer to prizes Aeschylus won at the Great Dionysia, and the larger figure to prizes he won there and also at . The Greek world had three great tragedians: Aeschylus (c. - c. BCE), Euripides (c. - BCE), and Sophocles. Their works were usually first performed in groups of threes (not necessarily trilogies) in such religious festivals as the competitions of Dionysos Eleuthereus, notably the City Dionysia in . I wanted to buy a book containing a representative sample of the three extant ancient Greek tragedians (Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripedes) as a gift.
In that work, a character named Myrtilus, in a lengthy banquet speech claims that Ion of Chios writes in his book Encounters, that Sophocles loved boys as much as Euripides loved women. Myrtilus also repeats an anecdote reportedly told by Ion of Chios that involves Sophocles flirting with a serving boy at a symposium.
Myrtilus also claims that in a work by Hieronymus of Rhodes entitled Historical Notes it is said that Sophocles once lured a boy outside to have sex, and afterwards the boy left with Sophocles' cape, while the boy's own cape was left with Sophocles.
Among Sophocles' earliest innovations was the addition of a third actor, which further reduced the role of Greek drama aeschylus and sophocles chorus and created greater opportunity for character development and conflict between characters.
It was not until after the death of the old master Aeschylus in BC that Sophocles became the pre-eminent playwright in Athens. Of the others, Electra shows stylistic similarities to these two plays, which suggests that it was probably written in the latter part of his career.
AjaxAntigone and The Trachiniae are generally thought to be among his early works, again based on stylistic elements, with Oedipus Rex coming in Sophocles' middle period. Most of Sophocles' plays show an undercurrent of early fatalism and the beginnings of Socratic logic as a mainstay for the long tradition of Greek tragedy.
All three plays concern the fate of Thebes during and after the reign of King Oedipus. Not only are the Theban plays not a true trilogy three plays presented as a continuous narrative but they are not even an intentional series and contain some inconsistencies among them.
His family is fated to be doomed for three generations. In Oedipus RexOedipus is the protagonist. Oedipus' infanticide is planned by his parents, Laius and Jocasta, to avert him from fulfilling a prophecy; in truth, the servant entrusted with the infanticide passes the infant on through a series of intermediaries to a childless couple, who adopt him not knowing his history.
Oedipus eventually learns of the Delphic Oracle 's prophecy of him, that he would kill his father and marry his mother; Oedipus attempts to flee his fate without harming those he knows as his parents at this point, he does not know that he is adopted.
Oedipus meets a man at a crossroads accompanied by servants; Oedipus and the man fight, and Oedipus kills the man who was his father, Laius, although neither knew at the time.
He becomes the ruler of Thebes after solving the riddle of the sphinx and in the process, marries the widowed queen, his mother Jocasta. Thus the stage is set for horror. When the truth comes out, following from another true but confusing prophecy from Delphi, Jocasta commits suicide, Oedipus blinds himself and leaves Thebes.
At the end of the play, order is restored. This restoration is seen when Creon, brother of Jocasta, becomes king, and also when Oedipus, before going off to exile, asks Creon to take care of his children. Oedipus's children will always bear the weight of shame and humiliation because of their father's actions.
Oedipus dies and strife begins between his sons Polyneices and Eteocles. In Antigonethe protagonist is Oedipus' daughter, Antigone.
She is faced with the choice of allowing her brother Polyneices' body to remain unburied, outside the city walls, exposed to the ravages of wild animals, or to bury him and face death.
The king of the land, Creon, has forbidden the burial of Polyneices for he was a traitor to the city. Antigone decides to bury his body and face the consequences of her actions. Creon sentences her to death. Eventually, Creon is convinced to free Antigone from her punishment, but his decision comes too late and Antigone commits suicide.
Her suicide triggers the suicide of two others close to King Creon: Nor were they composed as a trilogy — a group of plays to be performed together, but are the remaining parts of three different groups of plays.
As a result, there are some inconsistencies: Creon is also instructed to look after Oedipus' daughters Antigone and Ismene at the end of Oedipus Rex.
By contrast, in the other plays there is some struggle with Oedipus' sons Eteocles and Polynices in regard to the succession.Aeschylus was the first of the 3 renowned prize-winning Greek writers of tragedy (Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides).
He may have won either 13 or 28 prizes. The smaller figure may refer to prizes Aeschylus won at the Great Dionysia, and the larger figure to prizes he won there and also at . A landmark anthology of the masterpieces of Greek drama, featuring all-new, highly accessible translations of some of the world’s most beloved plays, including Agamemnon, Prometheus Bound, Bacchae, Electra, Medea, Antigone, and Oedipus the King Featuring translations by Emily Wilson, Frank Nisetich, Sarah Ruden, Rachel Kitzinger, Mary Lefkowitz, and James Romm/5(19).
The most important authors of Greek tragedies are Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Seventy-nine titles of Aeschylus works are known but only seven of them have survived.
This includes one of his most famous one, the only complete trilogy, the Oresteia. Sophocles was an important influence on the development of the drama, most importantly by adding a third actor (and thereby reducing the importance of the Chorus in the presentation of the plot) and by developing his characters to a greater extent than earlier playwrights such as Aeschylus.
Aeschylus: Aeschylus, the first of classical Athens’ great dramatists, who raised the emerging art of tragedy to great heights of poetry and theatrical power. Aeschylus grew up in the turbulent period when the Athenian democracy, having thrown off its tyranny (the absolute rule of one man), had to prove.
Sophocles: Sophocles, one of classical Athens’ three great tragic playwrights, whose best-known drama is Oedipus the King.