115 Best Sophocles Quotes from the Famous Greek Writer

Sophocles, born around 496 B.C.E., was a preeminent ancient Greek playwright known for his wins at the City Dionysia, the most significant dramatic festival of his era.

His education in music, athletics and dancing underscored his roles both in and outside of the theater.

Not only did he act in his plays, but his musical talents also found expression in his public performances.


His influence extended to the political and military spheres of Athens, serving as a general during the Peloponnesian War and managing the allies’ treasure.

Beloved by his contemporaries and seen as a man favored by the gods, Sophocles’ personal life intermingled with his career, influencing his familial relationships and potentially impacting his work.

Sophocles’ mastery of tragedy, notably for bringing the genre to perfection following Aeschylus, is evident in his artistry.

He introduced a third actor, giving dialogue greater importance and refined costumes and decorations.

Related: Archimedes Quotes from the Greek Mathematician and Pythagoras Quotes from the Famous Greek Philosopher

His character portrayals, detailed and distinct, positioned him as a figure of reverence in popular religion.

Sophocles’ prolific career saw him author between 123 to 130 plays, seven of which remain complete.

His works also included paeans, elegies, epigrams and a prose piece on the chorus.

His influence lived beyond his death in 405 B.C.E., with annual sacrifices offered in his memory, symbolizing the enduring allure of his poetic charm.

I have curated the famous quotes by Sophocles.

Best Sophocles Quotes


Tomorrow is tomorrow. Future cares have future cures, And we must mind today. ~ Sophocles.


To never have been born may be the greatest boon of all. ~ Sophocles.


Laziness is the mother of all evils. ~ Sophocles.


Best to live lightly, unthinkingly. ~ Sophocles.


Much wisdom often goes with fewer words. ~ Sophocles.


If you try to cure evil with evil you will add more pain to your fate. ~ Sophocles.


Words scare not him who blenches not at deeds. ~ Sophocles.


Profit is sweet, even if it comes from deception. ~ Sophocles.

Grief teaches the steadiest minds to waver. ~ Sophocles.

For the wretched one night is like a thousand; for someone faring well death is just one more night. ~ Sophocles.


May the god who sent this oracle Save us withal and rid us of this pest. ~ Sophocles.

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love. ~ Sophocles.

Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud. ~ Sophocles.

A man who takes pleasure in speaking continuously fools himself in thinking he is not unpleasant to those around him. ~ Sophocles.

It can be no dishonor to learn from others when they speak good sense. ~ Sophocles.

Go then if you must, but remember, no matter how foolish your deeds, those who love you will love you still. ~ Sophocles.


Wise thinkers prevail everywhere. ~ Sophocles.

I write a woman’s oaths in water. ~ Sophocles.

Remember there is no success without hard work. ~ Sophocles.

Famous Sophocles Quotes

Time is a kindly God. ~ Sophocles.

Leave me to my own absurdity. ~ Sophocles.

You’re in love with impossibility. ~ Sophocles.


Much speech is one thing, well-timed speech is another. ~ Sophocles.

And if my present actions strike you as foolish, let’s just say I’ve been accused of folly by a fool. ~ Sophocles.

The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities. ~ Sophocles.

What greater ornament to a son than a father’s glory, or to a father than a son’s honorable conduct? ~ Sophocles.

You must remember that no one lives a life free from pain and suffering. ~ Sophocles.

Fortune cannot aid those who do nothing. ~ Sophocles.

The kind of man who always thinks that he is right, that his opinions, his pronouncements, are the final word, when once exposed shows nothing there. But a wise man has much to learn without a loss of dignity. ~ Sophocles.

It is terrible to speak well and be wrong. ~ Sophocles.

Top Sophocles Quotes

Stubbornness and stupidity are twins. ~ Sophocles.

Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected. ~ Sophocles.

Silence is an ornament for women. ~ Sophocles.

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. ~ Sophocles.

There is no happiness where there is no wisdom; No wisdom but in submission to the gods. Big words are always punished, And proud men in old age learn to be wise. ~ Sophocles.

The oaths of a woman I inscribe on water. ~ Sophocles.

I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating. ~ Sophocles.

Bear up, my child, bear up; Zeus who oversees and directs all things is still mighty in heaven. ~ Sophocles.


Success is dependent on effort. ~ Sophocles.

There is no sense in crying over spilt milk. Why bewail what is done and cannot be recalled? ~ Sophocles.

Things gained through unjust fraud are never secure. ~ Sophocles.

God’s dice always have a lucky roll. ~ Sophocles.

Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse. ~ Sophocles.

Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than man; the power that crosses the white sea, driven by the stormy wind, making a path under surges that threaten to engulf him… ~ Sophocles.

Troubles hurt the most when they prove self-inflicted. ~ Sophocles.

To throw away an honest friend is, as it were, to throw your life away. ~ Sophocles.

The strongest iron, hardened in the fire, most often ends in scraps and shatterings. ~ Sophocles.

I am the child of Fortune, the giver of good, and I shall not be shamed. She is my mother; my sisters are the Seasons; my rising and my falling match with theirs. Born thus, I ask to be no other man than that I am. ~ Sophocles.

Gratitude to gratitude always gives birth. ~ Sophocles.

Many are the wonders of the world, and none so wonderful as man. ~ Sophocles.

Monster! thy silence would incense a flint. ~ Sophocles.

Great Sophocles Quotes

I was born to join in love, not hate – that is my nature. ~ Sophocles.

What an ugly, loveless life for a girl. ~ Sophocles.


Always desire to learn something useful. ~ Sophocles.

The Most beautiful human deed is to be useful to others. ~ Sophocles.

Chance never helps those who do not help themselves. ~ Sophocles.

Fate has terrible power. You cannot escape it by wealth or war. No fort will keep it out, no ships outrun it. ~ Sophocles.

To be doing good deeds is man’s most glorious task. ~ Sophocles.

A mind at peace does not engender wars. ~ Sophocles.

Fortune is not on the side of the faint-hearted. ~ Sophocles.

Children are the anchors of a mother’s life. ~ Sophocles.

A human being is only breath and shadow. ~ Sophocles.


Brave hearts do not back down back off. ~ Sophocles.

Many the wonders but nothing walks stranger than man. ~ Sophocles.

Powerful Sophocles Quotes

And instead my beloved, luck sent you back to me colder than ashes, later than shadow. ~ Sophocles.

To women silence gives their proper grace. ~ Sophocles.

I have no desire to suffer twice, in reality and then in retrospect. ~ Sophocles.

Who seeks shall find. ~ Sophocles.

A man though wise, should never be ashamed of learning more, and must unbend his mind. ~ Sophocles.

One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession. ~ Sophocles.

We have only a little time to please the living, But all eternity to love the dead. ~ Sophocles.

When I have tried and failed, I shall have failed. ~ Sophocles.

The dice of Zeus always fall luckily. ~ Sophocles.

Astronomy? Impossible to understand and madness to investigate. ~ Sophocles.

There is no happiness where there is no wisdom. ~ Sophocles.

Ultimate Sophocles Quotes

The truth is always the strongest argument. ~ Sophocles.

When you can prove me wrong, then call me blind. ~ Sophocles.

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. ~ Sophocles.

Quick decisions are unsafe decisions. ~ Sophocles.

A city which belongs to just one man is no true city. ~ Sophocles.

A lie never lives to be old. ~ Sophocles.

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. ~ Sophocles.

If we always helped one another, no one would need luck. ~ Sophocles.

If my body is enslaved, still my mind is free. ~ Sophocles.

Ill-gotten gains work evil. ~ Sophocles.


One must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been. ~ Sophocles.

Yea, I am free, strong in the strength of truth. ~ Sophocles.

Do nothing secretly; for Time sees and hears all things, and discloses all. ~ Sophocles.

What people believe prevails over the truth. ~ Sophocles.

Old age and the passage of time teach all things. ~ Sophocles.

Inspiring Sophocles Quotes

It is the brave man’s part to live with glory, or with glory die. ~ Sophocles.

The soul that has conceived one wickedness can nurse no good thereafter. ~ Sophocles.

A cunning fellow is man, inventive beyond all expectation, he reaches sometimes evil and sometimes good. ~ Sophocles.

He who throws away a friend is as bad as he who throws away his life. ~ Sophocles.

Better to die, and sleep The never-waking sleep, than linger on And dare to live when the soul’s life is gone. ~ Sophocles.

Not knowing anything is the sweetest life. ~ Sophocles.

Money: There’s nothing in the world so demoralizing as money. ~ Sophocles.

It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it. ~ Sophocles.

How dreadful knowledge of the truth can be when there’s no help in truth! ~ Sophocles.

You can kill a man but you can’t kill a idea. ~ Sophocles.

It is best not to have been born at all: but, if born, as quickly as possible to return whence one came. ~ Sophocles.

Wise Sophocles Quotes

Without labor nothing prospers. ~ Sophocles.

A man growing old becomes a child again. ~ Sophocles.

Death is not the greatest of evils; it is worse to want to die, and not be able to. ~ Sophocles.

Trust dies but mistrust blossoms. ~ Sophocles.

To me so deep a silence portends some dread event; a clamorous sorrow wastes itself in sound. ~ Sophocles.

A wise man does not chatter with one whose mind is sick. ~ Sophocles.

Death is not the worst thing; rather, when one who craves death cannot attain even that wish. ~ Sophocles.

A wise man heeds all matters great or small. ~ Sophocles.

So these were the 115 top Sophocles quotes and sayings on life, truth, love, wisdom, fate and death.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Smedley Butler quotes and Shaquille O’Neal quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar