Sophocles (Greek: Σοφοκλῆς, Sophoklēs, Auncient Greek: [so.pʰo.klɛ̂ːs]; c. 497/6 – winter 406/5 BC)[1] is ane o three auncient Greek tragedians whose plays hae survived. His first plays war written later nor or contemporary wi thae o Aeschylus, an earlier nor or contemporary wi thae o Euripides. Sophocles wrote ower 120 plays[2] in the coorse o his life, but anerly seiven hae survived in a complete form: Ajax, Antigone, Weemen o Trachis, Oedipus Rex, Electra, Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus.[3] For almost 50 years, Sophocles wis the maist celebratit playwricht in the dramatic competeetions o the ceety-state o Athens that teuk place in the releegious festivals o the Lenaea an the Dionysia. He competit in 30 competeetions, wan 24, an wis niver juidged lawer nor seicont place. Aeschylus wan 13 competeetions, an wis whiles defeatit bi Sophocles, while Euripides wan fower competeetions.[4]

Sophocles pushkin.jpg
Born497/496 BC
Colonus, Attica
Dee'd406/405 BC (aged 90 or 91)
Notable wark(s)

The maist famous tragedies o Sophocles featur Oedipus an an aw Antigone: thay are generally kent as the Theban plays, awtho ilk play wis actually a pairt o a different tetralogy, the ither members o that are nou lost. Sophocles influenced the development o drama, maist importantly bi addin a third actor, tharebi reducin the importance o the chorus in the presentation o the plot. He an aw developit his chairacters tae a greater extent nor earlier playwrichts sic as Aeschylus.[5]


  1. Sommerstein (2002), p. 41.
  2. The exact nummer is unkent, the Suda says he wrote 123, anither auncient soorce says 130, but na exact nummer "is possible", see Lloyd-Jones 2003, p. 3.
  3. Suda (ed. Finkel et al.): s.v. Σοφοκλῆς.
  4. Sophocles at Encyclopædia Britannica
  5. Freeman, p. 247.