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Sophocles Ajax, Sophocles Sep 30, 2014

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Sophocles, one of the most influential writers of Ancient Greece
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Ajax
 




 
Critics usually regard Ajax as an early work in Sophocles’ career. Sophocles’ source was probably Homer. Although, information is not certain, the play’s first performance probably took place about 444 B.C.

The story is about the warrior Ajax, after the events of the Iliad and the Trojan War. Ajax and Odysseus are great fighters in the battle against Achilles. They both retrieve Achilles’ body after his death and receive the honors of Greek society. However, the commanders vote that Achilles’ armor should be given to Odysseus, as an award. This generates Ajax’s rage.

The play opens with furious Ajax, who decides to kill the Greek leaders who disgraced him. Ajax is being tricked by the goddess Athena. He is made to believe that the spoil taken by the Achaeans, the sheep and cattle were, in fact, the Greek leaders he wanted to kill. Therefore, he kills some of them, and takes the rest to his home to torture. He also tortures a ram, which he thinks to be Odysseus, his rival.
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