Brief Summaries of Some Plays of Sophocles

Antigone (c. 441 BCE)

"Antigone" is a tragedy that centers on the conflict between Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus, and King Creon of Thebes. Antigone defies Creon's decree by burying her brother Polynices, leading to a moral and political confrontation. The play explores themes of morality, duty, and the consequences of defying authority.

Oedipus Rex (c. 429 BCE)

"Oedipus Rex" is one of Sophocles' most famous plays. It tells the story of Oedipus, the king of Thebes, who unknowingly fulfills a prophecy that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus seeks to unravel the mystery of his identity and the cause of the city's plague. The play explores the themes of fate, free will, and the consequences of ignorance.

Oedipus at Colonus (c. 401 BCE, posthumously performed)

This play is the sequel to "Oedipus Rex" and follows the final days of Oedipus. The former king seeks refuge in Colonus, where he encounters a new set of challenges. The play explores themes of redemption, acceptance, and the role of fate in one's life.

Electra (c. 410 BCE)

"Electra" centers on the character of Electra, the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, seeking revenge for the murder of her father. The play explores themes of justice, revenge, and the consequences of familial betrayal.

Ajax (date uncertain)

"Ajax" tells the story of Ajax, a heroic figure in the Trojan War, who experiences a severe emotional breakdown after being denied the armor of the slain Achilles. The play delves into the psychological effects of war, pride, and the struggle for honor.

The Women of Trachis (c. 450–430 BCE)

This play revolves around the character Deianeira, the wife of Heracles (Hercules), who unwittingly causes her husband's death through a misguided attempt to win back his love. The tragedy explores themes of fate, loyalty, and the unintended consequences of actions.

These plays are known for their exploration of complex human emotions, moral dilemmas, and the enduring themes of fate and free will. Sophocles' works continue to be studied and performed, attesting to their timeless significance in the world of literature and drama.

About Author
Mohammad Ibrahim (Mike)

Educator, Author, Bilingual Poet, Translator & Scholar of Literature.
A senior faculty member at Institute of English, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Sindh, Pakistsn

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