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The tragic humanism which Sophocles portrays in his heroes is the chief focus of Cedric Whitman’s new approach to the great playwright’s works and times. The plays are analyzed in a chronological order based on the growth of Sophocles’ conception of tragedy and heroism, from the archaic characterization of Ajax to the consummate maturity of the Oedipus at Colonus. The book gives a new historical picture of Sophocles: it shows him as a man with a vivid and passionate sense of good and evil who, far from being frozen in a static pietism, lived a life of dynamic change and growth. It is a book which will lead every reader to the plays themselves, with a lively perception of Sophocles’ integral place in the life and thought of Periclean Athens.