Sophocles is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides.

Broadway produced works include Electra (Lyceum Theatre), Oedipus the King (Lyric Theatre), Antigone (Cort Theatre), and Oedipus Tyrannus (Mark Hellinger Theatre). Off-Broadway produced works include Philoctetes (Lucille Lortel Theatre), The Theatre of Chance (Living Theatre), and Oedipus at Colonus and An Oresteia (Classic Stage). Regionally produced works include Ajax (ViaDuct Theater) and The Women of Trachis (Ohio Theatre).

The most famous of his tragedies—Oedipus the King and Antigone—are generally known as the Theban plays. Sophocles influenced the development of the drama, most importantly by adding a third actor, thereby reducing the importance of the chorus in the presentation of the plot. He also developed his characters to a greater extent than earlier playwrights such as Aeschylus.