Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Sophocles Σοφοκλῆς

497 – 405 BCE

“The Wise and Honored One”

Author of 120 plays, known as “The Wise and Honored One,” most popular Athenian playwright for 50 years, champion wrestler, poet, musician, actor, politician, general, and priest; Sophocles initiated pioneering innovation in the presentation of drama including an emphasis on inner, psychological character development. Strikingly handsome, athletic, enriched and privileged by his family’s wealth from selling weapons during the Persian wars; Sophocles ironically developed a dark pessimistic fatalism. He ranked the unborn as the most blessed and those who die at birth next. His play, Oedipus Tyrannus became the most famous of all Greek dramas. Brought to court by a son fearful that he would bequeath his wealth to an illegitimate son from a prostitute, Sophocles defended himself by reading from a play. This not only won the case but garnered the honor of the judges escorting him home.

Eras

Unlisted Sources

Acrisius

Ajax, 409 BCE​

Antigone (441 BCE)

Antigone, 442 BCE

Electra, 414 BCE

Oediplus at Colonus, 406 BCE

Oedipus at Colonus (401 BCE)

Philoctetes (409 BCE)

Quotes by Sophocles (17 quotes)

“Better to die, and sleep the never-waking sleep, than linger on and dare to live when the soul’s life is gone.”

from Ajax, 409 BCE​

Themes: Old Age

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“Laws can never be enforced unless fear supports them.”

from Ajax, 409 BCE​

Themes: Law and Order

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“Numberless are the world’s wonders, but none more wonderful than man.”

from Antigone, 442 BCE

Themes: Basic Goodness

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“Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness”

Themes: Wisdom Happiness

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“The end excuses any evil.”

from Electra, 414 BCE

Themes: Strategy

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“In a really just cause, the week conquer the strong.”

from Oediplus at Colonus, 406 BCE

Themes: Paradox Justice

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“A lie never lives to be old.”

from Acrisius

Themes: Lies

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“Truth is always the strongest argument.”

Themes: Truth

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“And a marvelous herb of the soil grows here,
Whose match I never had heard it sung
In the Dorian Isle of Pelops near
Or in Asia far hath sprung.”

from Oediplus at Colonus, 406 BCE

Themes: Gardening

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“Dreadful is the mysterious power of Fate; there is no escape from it by wealth or war, by walled city, or dark, sea-beaten ships.”

from Antigone, 442 BCE

Themes: Fate / Destiny

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“For money you would sell your soul… Of all the foul growths current in the world the worst is money. It sacks cities, perverts minds, routs out men from their homes leading the astray, sets them on every work of wickedness and crime.”

from Ajax, 409 BCE​

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“You win the victory when you yield to friends.”

from Ajax, 409 BCE​

Themes: Victory

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“Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse.”

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“One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession.”

from Philoctetes (409 BCE)

Themes: Kindness

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“There is no old age for a man's anger, only death.”

from Oedipus at Colonus (401 BCE)

Themes: Anger

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“Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected.”

Themes: Carpe diem

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“If men live decently, it is because discipline saves their very lives for them.”

from Antigone (441 BCE)

Themes: Discipline

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Quotes about Sophocles (4 quotes)

“With Sophocles came a third actor; the dialog and acting were developed and the chorus became subordinate to the dramatic action… Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides are the cultivating names of Greek tragedy, but now only the unmeaning names to the reader who will not seek out their work.”

H. G. Wells 1866 – 1946 CE
A father of science fiction and One World Government apostle
from Outline of History

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“This active psychological catastrophe in three acts was the commonest theme—the story of Ajax in Sophocles’ play… the condition of being spoiled by success, the consequent loss of mental and moral balance, and the blind headstrong, ungovernable impulse which sweeps an unbalanced soul into attempting the impossible.”

Arnold Toynbee 1889 – 1975 CE
from A Study of History

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“Sophocles—a ‘classic’ artist clinging to a broken faith—fashioned the art with measured music and placid wisdom. This combination of philosophy with poetry, action, music, song and dance made Greek drama not only a new form in the history of literature, but one that achieved a grandeur never equaled again.”

Will Durant 1885 – 1981 CE
Philosophy apostle and popularizer of history's lessons
from Life of Greece

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“To win his two dozen victories, Sophocles had to be wondrously fertile and able to produce on demand. A man of wealth, noted for his elegant style of life, he was a model of the Athenian public man of letters… He served as a treasurer for tribute money, was elected one of Athen’s ten generals, mounted many expeditions, and—at the age of 83—served on a commission to reorganize the government.”

Daniel J. Boorstin 1914 – 2004 CE
American intellectual Paul Revere
from Creators--Heroes of the Imagniation

Themes: Victory

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