Sophocles (Greek: Sophokles) was an Athenian dramatist and politician who lived from 496 BC to 406 BC. He is considered the second of the three great Greek tragedians, preceded by Aeschylus and followed by Euripides.
Sophocles is himself at a young age: at the Athenian victory celebration at Salamis (480 BC), the 16-year-old Sophocles was the chief of the chorus of naked boys dancing and singing.
Sophocles was regarded as the greatest playwright among the ancients by a long line of scholars, starting with Aristotle. He also won the Festival of Dionysus more than any other ancient dramatic festival. According to records, none of his plays earned anything lower than second place.
Sophocles is said to have written over 120 plays, but only seven are known to have survived: Ajax, Antigone, Trachinian Women, Oedipus the King, Electra, Philoctetes, and Oedipus at Colonus. Only a 400-line fragment of Trackers, a satyr play, survives. Sophoclean dramas usually concentrate on a small number of characters and emphasise their determined natures and good qualities, which inevitably lead to tragedy.