Ajax

 is usually considered as the oldest of the seven surviving complete tragedies of Sophocles. Although the exact date of its first performance is not known, it tends to be dated to the 440s BC (Finglass, 1-11).

The tragedy focuses on a well-known episode of the Trojan War, namely the death of Ajax, the only Greek warrior to take his own life voluntarily. Ajax was the son of Telamon, King of Salamis. In the Trojan War he stands out for his great size, strength, and courage, so much so that he is recurrently considered second only to Achilles (see for e.g. Il. 2.768-769, 17.279-280, Od. 11.550-551, 24.17-18). Precisely because of this, when Achilles dies, Ajax believes he is the rightful heir to the hero’s weapons and claims them. However, so does Odysseus and this leads to what is

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Citation: Encinas Reguero, M. Carmen. "Ajax". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 August 2023 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6794, accessed 30 May 2024.]

6794 Ajax 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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