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Oedipus the King Introduction and Legend

The Legend of Oedipus along with the Greek Modes of Persuasion

Peter Eliot

on 8 November 2016

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Transcript of Oedipus the King Introduction and Legend

The Legend of Oedipus
Once upon a time, in the city-state of Thebes, there was a king named Laius who couldn't have children.
So he went to a prophet...
Who told him that his son would kill him and marry his mother...(Not the best news to hear)
After being seduced by his wife, who eventually has a child, Laius decides to kill this child by nailing him to a mountain and leaving him for dead
A bad day for baby Oedipus
A sad crustacean: never a good sign
But the baby lives! [Insert Dramatic Noise Here]
The circle of Life
Saved by a shepherd, he is taken to the city-state of Corinth and adopted by the king and queen, Polybus and Periboa
Oedipus (meaning "crooked or swollen foot" in Greek), lives a happy life, until a random stranger tells him that his life has been a lie.
Stranger's Friend
Unfortunately for Oedipus, the prophet screams in horror upon seeing him, saying that he is destined to kill his father and marry his mother
Kind of like this...
So Oedipus does the logical thing and, not wanting to harm Polybus and Periboa, he runs away
On his voyage from Corinth, Oedipus meets an old man and his entourage, and things go downhill quickly.
The Sphinx asks travelers (and eventually Oedipus) a riddle:
What has four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three in the evening? All travelers who responded incorrectly were immediately eaten by the monster.
Any guesses?
The correct answer is Man, who walks on four legs as a baby, two as an adult, and three (with a stick or cane) in the evening of his life.
Need a hint?
Oedipus on the run (or starring in a movie with Harrison Ford)
After solving the riddle, the Sphinx is disgraced and immediately jumps off a cliff, and Oedipus, the new savior of Thebes, is pronounced the new king!
Unfortunately, ten years later, Thebes is struck down by a terrible plague. The people of Thebes are dying quickly, and they need Oedipus to save them one more time....
Obviously, Oedipus then marries the newly widowed queen; they have four children: Antigone, Ismene, Polynecies, and Eteocles
So he sends his brother-in-law, Creon, to the Oracle at Delphi to ask for help.
And so the play begins.....
So Oedipus looks for answers from the Oracle at Delphi
(He would eventually lead a major fast food chain...)
A distraught King Laius
The Greeks used three techniques to persuade their audiences: Ethos, Pathos, Logos (i.e. The Three Modes of Persuasion)
Ethos: Appeal to the audience's sense of honesty and/or authority; It often uses someone famous, or someone who would have the authority to speak on a given subject: a doctor, dentist, etc.
Pathos: an emotional appeal; means to persuade an audience by appealing to their emotions
Logos: a logical appeal; means to convince an audience by use of logic or reason: citing facts or statistics (just be aware that facts & statistics can be misleading)
Ohmygawd. I see dead people.
Aristotle's Tragic Hero
1. Noble Birth
2. A mix of both good and evil
3. Evokes pity and fear (in audience and possibly reader)
5. Does something evil to maintain what they consider good
4. Has a Tragic Flaw
6. Doomed to make a serious error in judgment that cannot be reversed
7. Realizes he/she has made an irreversible mistake
8. Meets/Faces his/her tragic death with honor.
After this encounter, Oedipus meets the Sphinx on Mt. Cithaeron. This creature has the head of a woman, the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle and a serpent's tail
Full transcript