Oedipus the King Discussion Questions

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Li his Third Letter on Oedipus, Voltaire, a French Enlightenment philosopher and writer, expressed incredulity at the fact that Oedipus, upon discovering that the shepherd who witnessed Laius's murder was still alive, decides to consult an oracle rather than actively to seek the testimony of this witness. How does Voltaire's questioning of Oedipus's decision-making reveal the differences in religious belief between Athenian society in the fifth century B.C. and the Enlightenment? Research the status of belief in oracles in Athenian culture and compare it to the debates between the Jesuits and Jansemsts in Voltaire's France. Discuss this difference in the context of Oedipus Rex.

During the fifth century in Athens, the skill of sophistry the ability to be a rhetorically persuasive public speaker, and to gain political power through the effectiveness of one's speech performances was becoming an increasingly important aspect of civic culture. One...

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This section contains 408 words
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