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By: Sophocles (497 BC - 406 BC)

Book cover Antigone (Plumptre Translation)

A powerful artistic protest against tyranny, "Antigone" has been translated and adapted dozens of times, applied over and over through the centuries to current forms of the oppression so common to human experience. Antigone's heroic resistance to Creon's petty, capricious, and unbending law has a never-ending relevance even in the third millennium CE. The play was written at a time of national fervor. In 441 BC, shortly after the play was released, Sophocles was appointed as one of the ten generals to lead a military expedition against Samos...

Book cover Oedipus at Colonus (Jebb Translation)

"Oedipus at Colonus" (also Oedipus Coloneus, Ancient Greek: Οἰδίπους ἐπὶ Κολωνῷ, Oidipous epi Kolōnō) is one of the three Theban plays of the Athenian tragedian Sophocles. It was written shortly before Sophocles' death in 406 BC and produced by his grandson (also called Sophocles) at the Festival of Dionysus in 401 BC. In the timeline of the plays, the events of "Oedipus at Colonus" occur after "Oedipus the King" and before "Antigone"; however, it was the last of Sophocles' three Theban plays to be written...

Book cover Ajax (Campbell Translation)

Ajax is a Greek tragedy written in the 5th century BC. The date of Ajax's first performance is unknown and may never be found, but most scholars regard it as an early work, c. 450 - 430 BC. It chronicles the fate of the warrior Ajax after the events of the Iliad, but before the end of the Trojan War. At the onset of the play, Ajax is enraged because Achilles' armor was awarded to Odysseus, rather than to him. He vows to kill the Greek leaders who disgraced him. Before he can enact his extraordinary revenge, though, he is tricked by the goddess Athena into believing that the sheep and cattle that were taken by the Achaeans as spoil are the Greek leaders...

Book cover Oedipus Rex (Murray Translation)

"Oedipus Rex" (Ancient Greek: Οἰδίπους Τύραννος, Oidipous Tyrannos), also known as "Oedipus the King" or "Oedipus the Tyrant," is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed about 429 BC (noted classicist Gilbert Murray, translator of this version of the play, rendered the title as "Oedipus, King of Thebes"). It was the second in order of Sophocles's composition of his three plays dealing with Oedipus. Thematically, however, it was the first in the trilogy's historical chronology, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone...

Book cover Trachiniai (Campbell Translation)

Women of Trachis (Ancient Greek: Τραχίνιαι, Trachiniai; also translated as The Trachiniae or The Trachinian Maidens) is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles. The story begins with Deianeira, the wife of Heracles, relating the story of her early life and her plight adjusting to married life. She is now distraught over her husband's neglect of her family. Often involved in some adventure, he rarely visits them. She sends their son Hyllus to find him, as she is concerned over prophecies about Heracles and the land he is currently in...

Book cover Philoctetes (Campbell Translation)

Philoctetes is a play by Sophocles (Aeschylus and Euripides also each wrote a Philoctetes but theirs have not survived). The play was written during the Peloponnesian War. It is one of the seven tragedies of Sophocles to have survived the ravages of time in its complete form. It was first performed at the Festival of Dionysus in 409 BC, where it won first prize. The story takes place during the Trojan War (after the majority of the events of the Iliad, and before the Trojan Horse). It describes the attempt by Neoptolemus and Odysseus to bring the disabled Philoctetes, the master archer, with them to Troy.

Book cover Electra (Storr Translation)

Electra or Elektra is a Greek tragedy by Sophocles. Its date is not known, but various stylistic similarities with the Philoctetes (409 BC) and the Oedipus at Colonus (401 BC) lead scholars to suppose that it was written towards the end of Sophocles' career. Set in the city of Argos a few years after the Trojan war, it recounts the tale of Electra and the vengeance that she and her brother Orestes take on their mother Clytemnestra and step father Aegisthus for the murder of their father, Agamemnon.


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