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Sophocles, (circa. 496 BCE - 406 BCE) was the second of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived to the present day. (The other two playwrights being Aeschylus and Euripides.) It is believed that Sophocles wrote 120 or more plays during the course of his life, but only seven have survived in their entirety. Most popular among these are Antigone and Oedipus the King.

Sophocles was the most-awarded playwright in the dramatic competitions of ancient Athens during his 50-year career.  He competed in roughly thirty dramatic competitions, winning perhaps twenty-four and never receiving lower than second place. Aeschylus won fourteen competitions and was defeated by Sophocles at times. Euripides won only four competitions.

The most famous of Sophocles's tragedies are those concerning Oedipus and Antigone. These are often known as the Theban plays or The Oedipus Cycle (Antigone, Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus.) Other than the three Theban plays, the four plays by Sophocles which survived are: Ajax, The Trachiniae, Electra, and Philoctetes.

Sophocles died at the age of 90 in 405 B.C., shortly after the production of Oedipus at Colonus.

About Sophocles