sophocles


Sophocles was a prominent tragic poet of ancient Greece. Son of Sofilo, a wealthy gunsmith. Sophocles, when he was barely 16 years old, was chosen as director of the boys’ choir, in order to celebrate the triumph of Salamis. He became publicly known as a poet of the tragic genre for the year 468 BC in a theatrical contest, which took place every year, in Athens during the Dionysian festivities. In this contest he was able to beat Aeschylus.

Since then, the literary career of Sophocles had no comparison, so much so that he published around 122 tragedies for the festivals, of which he obtained 24 triumphs, surpassing Aeschylus who had only 13. In this way, Sophocles became a character of Athens and his long life fit perfectly with the moments of greatest relevance for the city.

His best friends were Pericles and Herodotus, he never showed much interest in political issues, although he was chosen a couple of times as a strategist and took part in various Athenian trips, against Samos, an event that was expressed by Plutarch in his work “parallel lives ”.

The death of this great poet occurs during the war against Sparta, a conflict that meant the beginning of the end of the Athenian government. It is said that the aggressor army requested a truce, so that the funerals could be carried out properly.

For many Sophocles was a great Greek playwright, due to his expressive balance. He made many contributions to dramatic art and imposed two innovations: the entry of a third actor on stage and the breaking of the style of trilogies, which was imposed by Aeschylus. Sophocles considers that dramatic art should be appreciated as a conflict of wills, understanding it as a series of methods that allow the transmission of a story.

Among his most outstanding works is “Oedipus the King”, a work considered by Aristotle as the most significant within the genre of Greek tragedies.