Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2020

39. Politische Rhetorik in den Tragödien des Sophokles und des Euripides: „König Ödipus“ und „Medea“

Wolfgang Bernard and Jenny Görne

Abstract

Political rhetoric can be found in Sophoclesʼ “Oedipus Rex” and Euripidesʼ “Medea” as a form of expression of their respective protagonists. Both Oedipus and Medea are able to gain the support of a large group of people for the course of action they propose. In both cases this course of action is not beneficial to its proponent nor to the community, in both cases the proponent mistakenly believes that he or she is doing the right thing. Oedipus convinces the chorus of Theban Elders that he is the ruler destined to save Thebes every time there is a crisis no matter what Delphi or the seer Teiresias may claim, Medea paints herself as the victim of male injustice and gains the support of the chorus of Corinthian women. Both plays demonstrate that groups of people can be persuaded or even led astray by rhetorically powerful individuals who appear to be capable and smart when in fact the decisions they are taking will bring disaster upon themselves and their communities.

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston