Sophocles has also been universally admired for the sympathy and vividness with which he delineates his characters; especially notable are his tragic women, such as Electra and Antigone.
Few dramatists have been able to handle situation and plot with more power and certainty; the frequent references in the Aristotle regarded this play as a masterpiece of construction, and few later critics have dissented.
Sophocles won perhaps as many as 24 victories, compared to 13 for Aeschylus and four for Euripides, and indeed he may have never received lower than second place in the competitions he entered.
Ancient authorities credit Sophocles with several major and minor dramatic innovations.
Equally important, those who are to suffer from the tragic error usually are present at the time or belong to the same generation.
Sophocles Oedipus Rex As A Classical Tragedy
It was this more complex type of tragedy that demanded a third actor.
The relatively meagre information about Sophocles’ civic life suggests that he was a popular favourite who participated actively in his community and exercised outstanding artistic talents.
In 442 he served as one of the treasurers responsible for receiving and managing tribute money from Athens’ subject-allies in the Delian League.
Sophocles’ language responds flexibly to the dramatic needs of the moment; it can be ponderously weighty or swift-moving, emotionally intense or easygoing, highly decorative or perfectly plain and simple.
His mastery of form and diction was highly respected by his contemporaries.