Sophocles (born c. 496 BCE, Colonus, near Athens [Greece] — died 406, Athens) was the second of the three great ancient Greek tragedians (after Aeschylus and before Euripides) whose work has survived. He wrote over 120 plays, but only seven have survived in a complete form: Oedipus Rex, Ajax, Antigone, Women of Trachis, Electra, Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus.
One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love. Success is dependent on effort. Fortune is not on the side of the faint-hearted. Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud. The truth is always the strongest argument. All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride. Children are the anchors of a mother's life. Who seeks shall find. One must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been. Wisdom outweighs any wealth. Go then if you must, but remember, no matter how foolish your deeds, those who love you will love you still. If we always helped one another, no one would need luck. The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities. Not knowing anything is the sweetest life. A man, though wise, should never be ashamed of learning more, and must unbend his mind. To throw away an honest friend is, as it were, to throw your life away. You must remember that no one lives a life free from pain and suffering. I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating. If you try to cure evil with evil you will add more pain to your fate. Always desire to learn something useful. I have no desire to suffer twice, in reality and then in retrospect. Time, which sees all things, has found you out. Much speech is one thing, well-timed speech is another. Kindness gives birth to kindness. There's nothing in the world so demoralizing as money. How dreadful the knowledge of the truth can be when there’s no help in truth. To be doing good deeds is man’s most glorious task. The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves. Wise thinkers prevail everywhere. Fear? What has a man to do with fear? Chance rules our lives, and the future is all unknown. Best live as we may, from day to day. Tomorrow is tomorrow. Future cares have future cures, And we must mind today. Trust dies but mistrust blossoms. I was born to join in love, not hate—that is my nature. Laziness is the mother of all evils. Without labor nothing prospers. We have only a little time to please the living. But all eternity to love the dead. A human being is only breath and shadow. The oaths of a woman I inscribe on water. Grief teaches the steadiest minds to waver. If we are to keep our democracy, there must be one commandment: ‘Thou shalt not ration justice’. No one loves the messenger who brings bad news. When I have tried and failed, I shall have failed. Alas, how terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the man that's wise! This I knew well, but had forgotten it, else I would not have come here. Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse. Silence is an ornament for women. Death is not the worst thing; rather, when one who craves death cannot attain even that wish. Much wisdom often goes with fewer words. Our happiness depends on wisdom all the way. There is no witness so terrible and no accuser so powerful as conscience which dwells within us. The tyrant is a child of Pride Who drinks from his sickening cup Recklessness and vanity, Until from his high crest headlong He plummets to the dust of hope. Leave me to my own absurdity. To never have been born may be the greatest boon of all. A city which belongs to just one man is no true city. I have been a stranger here in my own land: All my life. What greater wound is there than a false friend? Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected. A lie never lives to be old. It is terrible to speak well and be wrong. Enemies’ gifts are no gifts and do no good. In a just cause the weak will beat the strong.