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Source Notes: Source: SOPHOCLES, Ajax, trans. John Moore, The Complete Greek Tragedies, ed. David Grene and Richmond Lattimore, vol. 2, p. 250 .Since there have been numerous translations of this play by Sophocles, these wordsspoken by Tecmessavary. The translation by George Young, The Dramas of Sophocles, p. 102 reads, Men of perverse opinion do not know / The excellence of what is in their hands,/ Till some one dash it from them.
Sophocles (circa. 496 BC - 406 BC) was the second of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived to the present day. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus, and earlier than those of Euripides. According to the Suda, a 10th century encyclopedia, Sophocles wrote 123 or more plays during the course of his life, but only seven have survived in a complete form. For almost 50 years, Sophocles was the most-awarded playwright in the dramatic competitions of ancient Athens that took place during the religious festivals of the Lenaea and the Dionysia. The most famous of Sophocles's tragedies are those concerning Oedipus and Antigone: these are often known as the Theban plays or The Oedipus Cycle, although they were not originally written or performed as a single trilogy. Sophocles influenced the development of the drama, most importantly by adding a third character and thereby reducing the importance of the chorus in the presentation of the plot. He also developed his characters to a greater extent than earlier playwrights such as Aeschylus.