A third holds that he died of happiness after winning his final victory at the City Dionysia.A few months later, a comic poet, in a play titled The Muses, wrote this eulogy: "Blessed is Sophocles, who had a long life, was a man both happy and talented, and the writer of many good tragedies; and he ended his life well without suffering any misfortune." According to some accounts, however, his own sons tried to have him declared incompetent near the end of his life; he is said to have refuted their charge in court by reading from his as yet unproduced Oedipus at Colonus.His reputation was such that foreign rulers invited him to attend their courts, although unlike Aeschylus who died in Sicily, or Euripides who spent time in Macedon, Sophocles never accepted any of these invitations.
Aeschylus won 13 competitions, and was sometimes defeated by Sophocles, while Euripides won 4 competitions.
The most famous tragedies of Sophocles feature Oedipus and also Antigone: they are generally known as the Theban plays, although each play was actually a part of a different tetralogy, the other members of which are now lost.
Aristotle credits Sophocles with the introduction of skenographia, or scenery-painting.
It was not until after the death of the old master Aeschylus in 456 BC that Sophocles became the pre-eminent playwright in Athens.
Sophocles' first artistic triumph was in 468 BC, when he took first prize in the Dionysia theatre competition over the reigning master of Athenian drama, Aeschylus.
According to Plutarch, the victory came under unusual circumstances.All three plays concern the fate of Thebes during and after the reign of King Oedipus.Sophocles, however, wrote the three plays for separate festival competitions, many years apart.The most famous is the suggestion that he died from the strain of trying to recite a long sentence from his Antigone without pausing to take a breath.Another account suggests he choked while eating grapes at the Anthesteria festival in Athens.Instead of following the usual custom of choosing judges by lot, the archon asked Cimon and the other strategoi present to decide the victor of the contest.