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Oedipus the King Historical Context

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Historical Context

Sophocles lived and worked in a time of great cultural significance, not only in the history of Athens but the greater sense of Western democratic culture. Wars with Persia and Sparta, the development of democratic culture, public architectural projects, and theatrical entertainments, as well as the rise of a distinctively rhetorical culture (a culture based on the strength of language and writing) are important features of the Athens during Sophocles's life, known as the Golden Age of Athens.

Soon after Cleisthenes established democracy in Athens in 507 B.C., Athens was threatened by outside enemies. At the beginning of the fifth century B.C., the Persians, led by Darius, crossed the Aegean to conquer Athens. After its triumph over Miletos in 494, the Persian army began to be defeated, with Athens winning the decisive victory at Marathon in 490, The battles of Salamis, Platea, and Mycale in 480-79 were also won...

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This section contains 691 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Oedipus the King Study Guide
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Oedipus the King from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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