Sophocles Wequest Ancient Greece





Part 1: The Life of Sophocles 
Directions: As you look through the web pages assigned for Part 1, answer the following questions.  
Website #1 - Sophocles Biography

1. What was in the City Dionysia? 

2. In what year did Sophocles enter his first City Dionysia? How old was he at the time? 

3. Besides being a playwright, name at least three other professions or positions Sophocles held in Greek society. 
4. How many total plays did Sophocles write? How many still exist in their entirety? 

5. What is considered Sophocles’ greatest work? 
Website #2 - Sophocles Timeline
1. In what year was Sophocles born? How many years ago was his birth from our current year? (HINT: Note that Sophocles lived during B.C.; the years from 0 to our current year are A.D.).  
2. In what year did Sophocles presumably write Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus ? 

3. In what year did Sophocles first exhibit Antigone ? 



 Part 2: Greek Life 
Website #1 – Greek Democracy
1. From what two Greek words do we get the word democracy?  


2. What is a polis, and what was the most powerful polis in ancient Greece? 


3. List three things that the establishment of democracy allowed citizens of ancient Greece to do. 


4. Identify the major differences between the democracy of the ancient Greeks (direct democracy) and American democracy today (representative democracy). 

Website #2 - Ancient Greece Atlas
1. What sea bordered all of the major regions of ancient Greece? 


2. The action in Oedipus the King takes place in the city of Thebes. Name the four cities that are closest to Thebes on the map of ancient Greece. 
Website #3 - Burial Rites
1. Describe the attitude toward death held by the ancient Greeks. 


2. In ancient Greece, why were the last words spoken by a person before death considered important? 



 3. Explain the significance of Tartaros and Elysium. 


4. Describe the 3 stages of an ancient Greek funeral 


5. Explain why a coin was usually placed in the mouth of a dead body before burial. 


6. Describe what happened during the ritual lament in the stage called  the prothesis . 


Website #4 - Greek Gods and Goddesses
In ancient Greece, men and women believed in many different gods and goddesses, and each of these divinities had a special place in Greek life. Use the website to answer the following questions about important gods, goddesses, and figures that appear in Oedipus the King and Antigone . 

1. Where was Apollo’s oracle placed? Why did people go there? 


2. The most important celebration in Athens was dedicated to Athena. What was this celebration called, and how often was it held? 


3. How were Ares and Athena different in their roles as war-gods? 


4. What was Amphitrite the goddess of? 


5. What did people believe they could hear if they visited Zeus’ shrine in Dodona? 

 6. Why was Niobe punished, what was her punishment, and how did she react to this punishment? 

7. Why was Danae punished, what was her punishment, and what happened to her during this



Part 3: Greek Theatre 
Directions: As you look through the web pages assigned for Part 3, answer the following questions.  
Website #1 - Ancient Greek Theatre
1. From what Greek word does the word “theatre” come from?  What does this word mean? 
2. Of all the plays performed in ancient Greece, how many have been found intact? 
3. What god was the Athenian theatre focused on? What was he the god of? 
4. List, in order, the three major parts of a Greek play. 
5. What were the two major types of Greek plays? 
6. Why does it make sense that the term “tragedy” comes from the Greek word for “goat”? 
Website #2 - Ancient Greek Actors

1. What was the role of the “hypocrits” in ancient Greek theatre?  
2. If a play had a female part, who would play this role? 
3. Why was the chorus so important in an ancient Greek play? 

 4. When the chorus first came about, how many members did it have? How many members did Sophocles have in the chorus for one of his plays?

5. List at least four different roles of the chorus in an ancient Greek play. 
Website #3 - Greek Theatre Masks
1. How many masks survive from the times of ancient Greece? Why? 
2. Typically, what materials were used to make Greek theatre masks? 
3. What was used for hair on an ancient Greek theatre mask?  
4. List characteristics of each of the following types of masks:  
tragic masks:  

young man:  

young woman: 
comic masks:  

older man:  

older woman: 
male (any age):  

very old man:  

other types of women: