Anagnoristics And Peripeteia In Oedipus The King

Decent Essays

Aristotle said the best plays have both an anagnorisis and a peripeteia which occur at nearly the same time. Anagnorisis which means "discovery" and peripeteia which means "reversal of fortune" have been a successful duo through the years. A simple way to state this is that within a story there is a startling discovery, which brings a change from ignorance to knowledge. These theatrical elements can make what appears to be a simple plot into an intriguing and attention-grabbing story. The play we watched and discussed in class, Oedipus Rex, is a good example of a story that contains both anagnorisis and peripeteia. The story is a legend from around 430 B.C. written by Sophocles. King Oedipus is the main character who I would consider a tragic hero. He wants to find the cure for the plague that is taking over his kingdom called Thebes. Oedipus tries to find the answers from an Oracle who according to Webster's Dictionary is "a person whom a deity is believed to speak through". The Oracle said that the plague is a curse because King Laius was murdered and in order for the plague to stop, the murderer must be found. King Oedipus then seeks out a blind seer who according to Webster's Dictionary is "one that predicts events or developments." His name is Teiresias and he says that there was an old prediction that Oedipus would kill his father and marry his mother. So here is where the plot starts to twist around and Oedipus is slowly piecing the story together. King Laius

Get Access