Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our Political Roots: Examples of Ancient Greek Rhetoric

Oedipus Rex Rhetoric

Logical Fallacies:

Slippery Slope (page 20): I vent it all on you. Yes, you, you planned this thing and I suspect you of the very murder even, all but the actual stroke. And if you had your eyes I’d say you played that chief part too.”

Ad hominem (page 19): “You miserable old man! You’d drive a stone to fury. Do you still refuse? Your flinty heart set in hopeless stubbornness?”

Slippery Slope (page 22): “So this is what he wants, Creon the loyal, Creon so long my friend! Stealing up to overthrow and snatch.”

Either – or argument (Page 37) “It’s come to that? My banishment or death preferred to what you want for him?”

Hasty generalization (page 46): “Rest assured; his account was that, exactly that he cannot cancel what he said.”

Figurative Language:

Simile (page 15) “Such ties swear me to his side as if he were my father.”

Simile (page 23) “Suborning sorcerers, like this vamper-up of plots, this hawking conjurer, a genius born blind with eyes for gain.”

Verbal Irony (page 23) “I say you see and still are blind.”

Hyperbole (page 24) “Nor I have ever summoned you if I’d known you’d go foaming at the mouth.”

Symbol (page 25) “Your royal road to ruin.”

Literary terms:

Protagonist: (page 5) “King Oedipus, the sovereign of our land” The story is about Oedipus

Plot (page 11) “a search which you and I together will peruse. My designs could not be suited more: to avenge the god and Thebes in a single blow.” What the story ids about and what the problem is.
Epiphany: (page 9) “Here”, says the god. “seek and you shall find. Pnly that escapes which never was pursued.” A god actually said something and manifested itself.

Conflict: (page 19) “You mean, you know and will not say? You’d rather sacrifice us all and let the city rot?” Oedipus and Tiresias are having a problem. They are conflicting because Tiresias won’t tell Oedipus what he wants to know.

Connotation: (page 49) “This lady is his wife and mother… of his children.” Jocasta is Oedipus’s wife, mother of his children, AND his mother.

Imagery: (page 51) “… this jangled mongering with birds on high…” puts and image in your head.

Diction: (page 68) “My sorrow heaves, my lips lament, which drew their breath from you and now must quiver and be still.” Very poetic language.

Climax: (Page 66) “She, she gave it to you?” The crisis is reached and conflict/plot is basically resolved.

Contrast: (page 33) “Test me. Go to Delphi. Ask” Creon is cool and confident while Oedipus is flaming and hot tempered. They contrast with each other in the scene.

Tone: (page 24) “Dear Gods! Must I listen to this thing?” This tone of the argument/scene/book: questioning, anger, and disbelief.

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