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Sophocles was born in 496 B.C. in Colonus, about a mile outside of Athens, Greece. He was raised by a wealthy and privileged family because his father was a weaponry merchant. He was highly educated in all of the arts and as he once said, in his play Antigone, "wisdom outweighs any wealth". At the age of sixteen, he was chosen to lead a boy's choir at a war victory celebration. When he turned twenty eight, he began competing in the City Dionysia, a festival held at the Theatre of Dionysus, where new plays were presented.


496 BCE- Sophocles was born468 BCE - Sophocles wins first tragedy competition.450 BCE - Date of Sophocles' play The Women of Trachis.443 BCE-442 BCE - Sophocles is one of the state treasures in Athens.442 BCE- Sophocles' tragedy Antigone is first preformed.441 BCE- Sophocles is one of the Athenian generals involved in supressing the revolt on the island of Samos.429 BCE-Sophocles' tragedy Oedipus the King is first preformed.413 BCE-Sophocles is part of a ten-man council to debate action following Athens' disastrous Sicilian Expedition.409 BCE-Sophocles' tragedy Philocetes is first preformed.406/405 BCE- Sophocles died

Sophocles wrote 123 plays during his lifetime, only 7 of which survived. He recognized three different periods in his style of writing over the years: the beginning, inspired by Aeschylus, then a period of more harsh expression, followed by a period in which he developed an interest in describing human character. His most famous masterpieces were the Theban Plays. These plays were written over a 36 year time period, and they tell the story of the king Oedipus of Thebes and his descendants. The Theban Plays consist of Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. Antigone was the first to be written (around 442 BC), but chronologically the third of the Theban Plays. In this play Sophocles once said, "Nobody likes the man who brings bad news."


Precise information about Sophocles is inaccurate but it is believed he died in the winter of 406/405 BC at the age of 90 or 91. His death,"like...other famous men from...ancient history...also inspired many apocryphal stories". There are 3 rumored stories as to how he died: one being from the strain of trying to recite a long sentence without stopping to breath from his play,"Antigone," another account is that he choked on a grape at the Anthesteria festival in Athens, and the last is that he died due to excess happiness over winning his final victory at Dionysia.

Works Cited

Freeman, Charles. The Greek Achievement: The Foundation of the Western World. New York: Viking, 1999. Print.K., Danny. "Sophocles Biography." Sophocles Biography. N.p., 29 Apr. 2002. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. ."Sophocles Biography." Encyclopedia of World Biography. JRank, n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. ."Sophocles - Biography." The European Graduate School. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. ."Sophocles Biography." The Famous People. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. ."Sophocles." Famous Authors. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. ."Sophocles." Project Gutenburg. Ibiblio, n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. ."Sophocles Quotes." Sophocles. Venekera, n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. ."Sophocles." Sophocles. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. ."Sophocles Timeline." Ancient History Encyclopedia. NuSphere, 2009. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. ."The Theban Plays." Sophocles. Venekera, n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. .

SophoclesBy: Megan Hanson, Sammi Hartigan, Madison Fontana-Harless, and Remy Smith P. 3

Early years



Sophocles was a respected member in Athenian society, he was born into a wealthy family, and had many occupations. They consisted of a politician, a priest, and military leader, but his true passion was being a tragedian. For almost 50 years Sophocles was the most- fêted playwright in the dramatic competitions, which took place during religious festivals of the Lenaea and the Dionysia. He competed in around 30 competitions won between 18-24, and was never judged lower than 2nd place. His first award for a dramatic piece came in 468 BCE at the Greter Dionysia.


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