Oedipus Rex, a Play by Sophocles
The ancient Greeks built the first theaters, invented and mostly wrote two types of drama; tragedy and comedy. A tragedy is a serious drama about common themes, such as betrayal or love. In ancient times, Greece had three notable dramatists who wrote tragedies, one of whom was Sophocles. Sophocles was an ancient Greek playwright from 496 to 406 BC. He came from a wealthy family and recieved a good education. His father is Sophillius, a rich armour manufacturer, and grew up in the community of Colonus, Attica, which resides outside of Athens. Sophocles had many achievements and had an outstanding character such as in 480 BC, he was chosen to lead the paean, a choral chant to a god, at age 16, celebrating the Greek sea victory over the Persians at the Battle of Salamis. Sophocles is the best due to his influence and innovation in Drama, his accomplishments which make him unique than any other, and his other occupations other than a dramatist.
Sophocles’s influence in drama made a huge impact on both ancient and modern society. According to Aristotle, Sophocles was the first to use painted scenery that influences today. Painted scenery shows the little detail and story plot setting that makes the audience invision what the play is, in depth. Without painted scenery, the audience has a missing image or idea of the play’s message. It was so influential that modern plays have included painted scenery into drama such as in films and broadway, today. Some influential greek figures such as Freud, Hegel, and Aristotle have said that Sophocles plays are some of the most amazing creations in greek drama. In addition, Sophocles was the first to add a third character to plays developing characters into a bigger extent and deeper thought with more conflict throughout story for a better understanding. This influenced other playwrights such as Aeschylus who adapted this method.
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This reduced the role of the chorus, however extended the amount from twelve to fifteen people. Having a less chorus drawn act makes dialogue sharper, allows the action to be more fluid, and give the meaning of the play. His style was what he thought best suited the portrayal of human nature which was different to other great playwrights perspectives, such as Aeschylus and Euripides. Considering he ended the usual written trilogies at Athens Dionysus, he also incorporated painted scenery, increased the amount of actors, and lengthened the amount of chorus members, thus impacting his influence in today and ancient society.
As Sophocles loved and influenced drama in many ways, he had other occupations as well. He was known to be good-looking by getting invited to celebrations and is thought to have been include in some of the roles in his early theatrical performances, but was unable to continue. His public appearance started when he was appointed treasurer of the Delian League in 443 BC, and was included in being co-general of the Athenian army in 441 BC. He was also one of commissioners writing a response to the destruction of the Athenian force, due to the Peloponnesian War. These career roles shows his leadership and speech in warfare. At an old age, Sophocles was honored with an advisory role in the Athenian government to help deal with the outcome of the catastrophic military campaign at Syracuse. Sophocles not only showed his speciality in drama, but portrayed other jobs he served, which states he is an all-rounded, great Greek citizen.
Sophocles has made many accomplishments that have furthered his ability and success in life. He took place in the cities Dionysus many time as well as in other festivals that he never placed below top 3. He has made history such as being the most awarded playwright in the Dionysia dramatic competitions of the citystate of Athens and has won twenty-four festivals, placing second in every festival he did not win. He has written over one hundred and twenty-three plays however only seven have stayed intact, but for over fifty years. These seven have been very influential to greek society that brought a unique aspect to ancient theatre never mentioned before that has shaped modern ways.