Sophocles’ surviving tragedies are more complex in plot, but more uniform in structure, than those of Aeschylus. Only one of them, Electra, proceeds in the Aeschylean manner directly to an end foreseeable in outline from the beginning – and even in Electra the dramatist teases his audience throughout with the possibility of a major change to the story (see p. 17). The other plays fall into two groups. In the three which are probably earlier (The Women of Trachis, Antigone and Ajax) the focus of interest changes about two-thirds of the way through (from Deianeira to Heracles; from Antigone to Creon; from the fate of Ajax to the question of his burial), and as a result all these plays have sometimes been seen as poorly constructed. The pattern, however, is so common (it reappears in Euripides) that Athenian audiences must have found it quite acceptable for a tragedy to be structured in this way – in other words, they were willing if necessary to revise their idea of what a play was about in the course of watching it. In all three of these plays the change of focus is marked by the ﬁnal exit, to death, of the character who has hitherto been at the centre of interest; but the death of this character is never the end of the chain of events he or she has initiated. Indeed, the power of the dead over the living is an idea that perpetually haunts Sophocles; it is prominent in all his surviving plays except Philoctetes.