Sophocles is one of the three Greek tragedians whose work has survived to the present day. His best-known work is the play Oedipus the King. His other surviving plays include Oedipus at Colonus, Ajax, Antigone, The Women of Trachis, Electra, and Philoctetes. Of another one, The Progeny, no more than a few lines have survived.
Tropes present in the works of Sophocles include:
- Because Destiny Says So: Oedipus the King
- Downer Ending: Well, it's not called tragedy for nothing.
- Driven to Suicide: Ajax, Antigone, Jocasta, Deianeira.
- Greek Chorus: Aristotle in Poetics cited him as how choruses should work.
- Missing Episode: More than a hundred.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Trying to prevent the prophecy that their son will kill his father and marry his mother, Laios and Jocasta order that he be abandoned in the wild. But the baby is saved, and he not knowing his parents (nor they knowing him) is, of course, the set-up that makes the prophecy actually come true.
- You Can't Fight Fate: The measures Oedipus' parents take to prevent the prophecy from coming true are in vain.