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G r e e k T h e a ter. BY: Guido, Davide, Giorgia. Sophocles ( 496?-406? bc), one of the three great tragic dramatists of ancient Athens.

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g r e e k t h e a ter

Greek Theater

BY: Guido, Davide, Giorgia

sophocles 496 406 bc one of the three great tragic dramatists of ancient athens
Sophocles (496?-406? bc), one of the three great tragic dramatists of ancient Athens
  • Sophocles was provided with the best traditional aristocratic education. In 468 BC, at the age of 28, he defeated Aeschylus, whose preeminence as a tragic poet had long been undisputed, in a dramatic competition. The date of the first contest with Euripides is uncertain; in 441 Euripides defeated Sophocles in one of the annual Athenian dramatic competitions. From 468 bc, however, Sophocles won first prize about 20 times and many second prizes. His life, which ended in 406 BC at about the age of 90, coincided with the period of Athenian greatness.
  • Sophocles composed more than 100 plays, of which 7 complete tragedies. The seven extant plays are Antigone, Oedipus Tyrannus or Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King), Electra, Ajax, Trachiniae (Maidens of Trachis), Philoctetes, and Oedipus at Colonus (produced posthumously in 401 bc). Oedipus Tyrannus and Electra date from 430 to 415 bc. Philoctetes is known to date from 409 BC. All seven extant tragedies are considered outstanding for their powerful, intricate plots and dramatic style, and at least three—Antigone, Oedipus Tyrannus, and Oedipus at Colonus—are generally regarded as masterpieces
Aeschylus (525?-456 bc), Greek dramatist, the earliest of the great tragic poets of Athens"Father of Tragedy"
  • Aeschylus is said to have written about 90 plays. His tragedies, first performed about 500 BC, were presented as trilogies, or groups of three, usually bound together by a common theme. Each trilogy was followed by a satyr drama (low comedy involving a mythological hero, with a chorus). The titles of about 80 of his plays are known, but only 7 have survived. The earliest is The Persians, presented in 472 bc, a historical tragedy about the Battle of Salamís, with the scene laid in Persia at the court of the mother of King XerxesI. Aeschylus fought successfully against the Persians at Marathon in 490 BC, at Salamís in 480 bc, and possibly at Plataea the following year
  • It was a huge leap for drama when Aeschylus introduced the second actor. He also attempted to involve the chorus directly in the action of the play.
  • We don’t know much about his life, both because he didn’t move much, but for fure he made at least two trips, perhaps three, to Sicily. During his final visit he died at Gela, where a monument was later erected in his memory.
the oresteia
The Oresteia

The Oresteia, is a trilogy, it was performed in 458 BC, less than two years before Aeschylus' death. He dealt with the tragedy of a royal house, a "hereditary curse" which began in a legendary world in which Tantalus was accused for revealing to mankind the secrets of the gods. This situation paralleled events in Aeschylus' own life. He was reportedly charged with "impiety" for revealing the Eleusinian mysteries--the secret rites of the city of his birth--to some outsiders. These accusations against him were most likely political conspirations and he was not convicted at the end.


Euripides (480?-406? bc), Greek dramatist, the third of the great Attic tragic poets. His work, fairly popular in his own time, exerted great influence on Roman drama.

  • According to tradition, Euripides was born in Salamis on September 23, about 480 BC. His plays began to be performed in the Attic drama festivals in 454 bc, but it was not until 442 BC that he won first prize. Despite his prolific talent, Euripides won this distinction again only four times. Aside from his writings, his chief interests were philosophy and science.
  • Although Euripides did not identify himself with any specific school of philosophy, he was influenced by the Sophist and by such philosophers as Protagoras, and Socrates. Euripides’ plays were criticized for their unconventionality, for their natural dialogue (his heroes and princes spoke the language of everyday life), and for their independence from traditional religious and moral values. His plays, however, if not overwhelmingly popular, were famous throughout Greece. In the latter part of his life Euripides left Athens for Macedonia.
  • www.encarta.com
  • http://www.imagi-nation.com/moonstruck/clsc3.htm
  • classics.mit.edu/