The Concept of Legitimaiton in Oedipus the King by Sophocles and Crito by Plato

The Concept of Legitimaiton in Oedipus the King by Sophocles and Crito by Plato

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Oedipus the king by Sophocles and Crito by Plato both have an active indication of the concept of legitimation and each one presents variations in using the authority through the rational and the traditional forms of legitimation. However, there was a minor concern about the charismatic legitimation in both of them. Traditional legitimation was shown in Oedipus the king by the Delphic oracle and the divine intervention. Also, it presented in Crito by Socrates believes in the vision of his delay death. However, rational legitimation was clarified in the logical way which Oedipus uses to find the killer of Laius. Crito used reasons to persuade Socrates to smuggle from the prison like: Socrates responsibilities towards his sons, how Socrates death will have negative impacts on his friends and how Socrates has been unjustly sentenced. In addition, the social contract with Athenians was an argument used by Socrates to show why he should stay in prison.


Traditional legitimacy is addressed in different avenues in Oedipus the king. Perhaps the most significant avenue is the underlying theme of divine intervention. The first indication of the Gods role in the play is the prophecy of the oracle, Oedipus fate was related to the oracle. Oedipus was well known of the ancient Greek believes that god can see the future and some people can access this information. Therefore, when a plague strike the city Oedipus act as traditional leader and sent Creon to Delphi-Apollo the prophet oracle to know what he can do to save the city. The Delphic oracle showed that the problem is because a religious pollution, the murder of the king Laius has been not caught yet. Oedipus believed that god is telling the truth therefore he sent for the blind prophet T...


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... chosen by divine forces to play their role they did. Socrates was accused of corrupting the youth which means that he has people who follow him. Also he has an ironic characteristic which made him does not care if they kill him or know. On the other hand Oedipus was the land avenger because he saved the city from the sphinx people believed in his power and they follow him as a saviour for the city.

In conclusion, traditional legitimation was shown in both Oedipus the king and Crito by believing in the divine intervention. Socrates persuades Crito that he should stay in prison and act justly towards the laws of his city by using different arguments like the social contract that he has with the Athenians and being outlaw and unwelcome in any other city. So both Socrates and Oedipus were trying to use reasons instead of traditional authority to justify their action.

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