Sophocles: Oedipus the King

Satisfactory Essays
Whether it be fate, destiny, the gods will, or the path a person chooses for themselves, all of these unknowns are connected and played around with in Sophocles literature. Any of these can be talked about being a main theme in all of his stories.
Jeffrey L. Buller wrote an author biography on Sophocles. Sophocles was born in Colonus within the city limits of Athens, Greece near the beginning of the fifth century b.c.e. (c. 496 b.c.e.). Colonus had its own legendary heroes, one of which was the center of “three of Sophocles' most famous tragedies”, Oedipus. According to the legend, one of the local heroes had “been an exiled Theban king who vanished mysteriously in a grove at Colonus and who continued to protect the area until Sophocles' own day”. During the fifth century, contests were held and prizes were awarded to the finest playwrights. “Sophocles was to receive the first prize approximately twenty times...often won second prize and never, say the ancient authorities, came in last”. By winning these contests, more than any other playwright of the time, he proved to build a very successful career. It is said that Sophocles learned the “art of tragedy” from Aeschylus; however, it is not sure whether Aeschylus served as a mentor, or Sophocles was self-taught using “imitation” of Aeschylus's work. Aside from his literature career, Sophocles was also “actively involved in the political and military life of the Athenians”; Sophocles served as a general in the military, and had several political offices. Critics of Sophocles say that the imitation of Aeschylus is present in the “early period of ponderous tragedies” of his work. The other two periods of his work, all three of which were defined by Sophocles himself, w...

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...April 2014.
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