in Colonus Hippus, the son of Sophillus, reportedly a wealthy armor-maker. He was provided with the best education possible. As a young man he was chosen to lead the chorus of youths who celebrated the naval victory at Salamis in 480 B.C, an honor that suggests that he was handsome and talented. At the age of 28 he won a dramatic competition against a guy who was undefeated. He won first prize in these competitions over 20 times and many second prizes. Sophocles composed more than 100 plays, of which seven complete tragedies and fragments of 80 or 90 others preserved. All of the tragedies, including Oedipus Rex are considered outstanding for their powerful, intricate plots and dramatic style. Many scholars consider Sophocles the greatest of the Greek tragedians. Two important innovations he was noted for was increasing the number of actors from two to three, thus lessening the influence of the chorus and making possible greater complication of the plot and more effective portrayal of characters by contrast and coincidence; and he changed the composing of plays in groups of three, each of them part of a central myth or theme, and made each play an individual psychological and dramatic unity. .
Oedipus Rex is a tragedy written by Sophocles. In the tragedy Oedipus mistakes his own identity and misconstrues his destiny. Tragic heroes such as Oedipus are grand, noble characters. They are men of high estate who enjoy great reputation and prosperity. Oedipus was a privileged, exalted person who earned high repute and status by his intelligence and his inherent nobility. Oedipus's tragedy extends to his entire family. An essential element in tragedies is recognition of what has happened. This takes form of the hero discovering something previously unknown or something he knew but misconstrued. Such an ironic reversal occurs in Oedipus Rex when the messenger's speech unsettles rather than reassures Oedipus about who he is and what he has done.