496 - 406 BC
Sophocles was the second of the three great Greek tragedians.
He gave Greek tragedy its classical form by introducing the
third actor into the plot.
When Sophocles was a young man, Athens was still supremely confident from victory over Persia; when he died, civil war with Sparta had brought disaster over the city.
Sophocles' tragedies were not concerned with abstract problems of guilt and punishment, like those of Aeschylus. Instead they dealt with a specific struggle of a strong individual against fate.
Sophocles drew the dramatic action from the internal lives of the characters. The chorus is much less prominent than in Aeshylus' works, the action is swifter and the dialogue sharper.
It was said, that Sophocles pictured men as they should be,
Euripides as they are. He wrote more than 100 plays, the last one 'Oedipus at
Colonus' when he was nearly 90 years old.
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