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BC: Citations www.squidoo.com http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Live/Writer/Sophocles.htm http://www.booksshouldbefree.com/book/Oedipus-Rex-Sophocles http://listverse.com/2009/07/05/10-ancient-greek-writers-you-should-know/ http://www.thegeminigeek.com/who-was-sophocles/ http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/Maria-Euphrosyne-Spartali,-Later-Stillman/AntigoneFrom-'antigone'-By-Sophocles.html www.superstock.com http://www.pbs.org/empires/thegreeks/background/24d_p1.html http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_217650/Etienne-Barthelemy-Garnier/Sophocles-at-the-age-of-83-is-honoured-with-an-olive-wreath-by-the-Athenian-Magistrate www.evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com

FC: Sophocles | A Great Tragedian

1: Sophocles was a renowned Greek playwright who focused on in tragedies. He was born in 497 BCE, in Colonus. He is often viewed as one of three great Greek tragedians, falling between Aeschylus and Euripides in chronological order. Sophocles wrote 123 plays, according to the Suda, a 10th century encyclopedia.

2: Here Sophocles is pictured in front of a large Greek amphitheater, where plays were often held. These amphitheaters, although built of stone, could hold from 40,000 to 60,000 spectators comfortably. This is an example of where his three most famous plays, Ajax, Antigone, and Oedipus Rex would have been shown. Through plays he searched for the truth and how members of a community could be dramatic and that their irresponsible actions could produce major consequences. He expressed his findings through the art of theater, a media that many people could enjoy but also understand.

3: This picture represents Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus Rex. This Athenian play was first performed in 429 BCE, at the Theatre of Dionysus. In the story, Oedipus is destined to kill his father, the king, so his parents exile him as a baby. He grows up with no memory of his royal past, and one day, when traveling on a crossroad, gets in a fight and kills a man who turned out to be his father. He then continues on to the kingdom, where without knowing marries his mother, the Queen. When he eventually discovers this, he stabs his eyes out so he can no longer see her.

4: This is a bust of Sophocles. This is what most artists picture him as, and he probably would have looked this way in ancient Greece. In those times, many figures sported lengthy beards, including the other great playwrights, Aeschylus and Euripides.

5: Sophocles played a major role in the development of tragic plays. He introduced a third actor, and increased the number of chorus members from twelve to fifteen. He also developed the use of stage scenery, and influenced his plays to direct more toward man and his power than the gods, who are more present in the plays of Aeschylus. Through using man's willpower he also established a search for the truth that man can control parts of his environment, and does not have to be influenced by the gods. In his plays, he exposed these ideas and truths to the public to give them a new view of life.

6: Here is a handmade oil painting of a scene from another of Sophocles’ famous tragedies, Antigone. This play was written around 442 BCE, and is the third installment of the three Theban plays, although it was written first. In the play, Antigone deals with problems such as burial rituals, punishment, and who is entitled to the throne.

7: This oil on canvas painting is called Sophocles and Euripides by Giorgio de Chirico, and was completed in 1925. The drawn back curtain on the right symbolizes that Chirico is inviting the viewer into a strange new world. At the heart of both figures, an explosion of color depicts the inspiration and creativity of the two Greek tragedians. Here is an example for the path to truth using more modern designs and concepts, while maintaining the same structural ideas.

8: Both of these playwrights were searching for the truth around 427 BCE and after, but one used tragedy and the other used satire so the individual could better understand their search and challenges. Some of these challenges included the public, government, self-conflicts, and contradicting views. | This is a double-bust of Sophocles and Aristophanes that is on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Sophocles was one of three great Greek tragedians, while Aristophanes was a leading comic author of Athens. He did not make his first play until 427 BCE, and specialized in political satire.

9: This painting is a handmade oil depiction of Sophocles at the age of eighty-three. He is being honored with an olive wreath by the Athenian magistrate. In Athens, magistrates had only an administrative role, and could be impeached and prosecuted for misconduct. This was painted by Etienne-Barthelemy Garnier.

10: Here is Sophocles, in what Colonus, his hometown, would have looked like. Here he grew up with his father Sophilus and his brother Hardocles, and was a wealthy member of the rural deme, or small community. He died in 406 BCE at the age of ninety in Athens, near his hometown.

11: Positive: Sophocles influenced his viewers by exposing them to the many truths he had sought after. One if these truths are that man’s willpower can rise above others, as long as you have confidence and courage. Another truth he found is that stage productions are a way for people of any age or time to relax and enjoy watching others acting out tragic or adventurous stories. People can relate the ideas and themes expressed on stage to their lives, and reflect on that to improve their daily lives. | Negative: With discovering truths comes some consequences, one of which is that Sophocles also exposed the public to murder, stealing, and treachery. This implanted bad judgment and ideas into some of his viewers, who might have later moved on and carried out some of the evil concepts. He also negatively impacted his life, if his plays reflected badly on the government or powerful figures. Those figures than would have retaliated violently, or given him a bad reputation.

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  • By: JP R.
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  • Title: Sophocles
  • Sophocles: A Great Tragedian
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  • Published: almost 8 years ago