Essay on Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Essay on Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

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Well known is the phrase, “facta, non verba,”- yet it is oft observed that deeds are defended by their doers with discourse. Persuasive oration is prominent in, ‘Crito,’ and is present in another piece from circa the same time-, ‘Oedipus Rex.’ These works of Plato and Sophocles share undoubtable similarities; discernible in both is the ways in which the protagonists attempt to justify their actions, with both raconteurs employing perspicacious reasoning, supposedly sacrosanct support, and suaveness to warrant their acts and assumptions.
The use of reason to reinforce ones’ reasons is present in many of the speeches that Oedipus gives, and is also established in, ‘Crito.’ Oedipus asserts his astuteness, which is based on his solving of the Sphinx’s conundrum, in order to attempt to bolster his status and imbue his arguments with validity. This is observable in his denunciation of Tiresias, - “The flight of my own intelligence hit the mark!” (Oedipus the King, Falges, R, line 453, from-, The Harcourt Brace Anthology of Drama, 3rd edition, Wortham, B, 1996). This common-sense manner continues when Oedipus later makes a mathematical deduction when deliberating on who felled Laius, - “if he still holds to the same number, I cannot be the killer. One can’t equal many,” and references scales (Oedipus the King, Falges, R, line 935, from-, The Harcourt Brace Anthology of Drama, 3rd edition, Wortham, B, 1996). This causes him to seem as a methodical measurer. Many displays of the Kings’ mental acuity are presented through the elenctic process, whereby continual questioning and debate is employed to ascertain the truth. Oedipus’s discussion with the herder exemplifies this (Oedipus the King, Falges, R, line 1281-1285, from-, The Harcourt Bra...


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...ace Anthology of Drama, 3rd edition, Wortham, B, 1996.
Oedipus the King, Falges, R, line 279, from-, The Harcourt Brace Anthology of Drama, 3rd edition, Wortham, B, 1996.
Oedipus the King, Falges, R, lines 154-155), from-, The Harcourt Brace Anthology of Drama, 3rd edition, Wortham, B, 1996.
.”(Oedipus the King, Falges, R, lines 183-84, from-, The Harcourt Brace Anthology of Drama, 3rd edition, Wortham, B, 1996.
Oedipus the King, Falges, R, line 290, from-, The Harcourt Brace Anthology of Drama, 3rd edition, Wortham, B, 1996.
Oedipus the King, Falges, R, line 876, from-, The Harcourt Brace Anthology of Drama, 3rd edition, Wortham, B, 1996.
Oedipus the King, Falges, R, line 876, from-, The Harcourt Brace Anthology of Drama, 3rd edition, Wortham, B, 1996.
Plato, Crito, translation by Benjamin Jowett, numerous quotations (line numbers not specified in text).



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