Aristotle’s Poetics vs.

Oedipus Rex: Thought

“Thought… is where something is proved to be or not to be, or a general maxim is enunciated”
– Aristotle in his Poetics (McManus 2) Maxim: “a general truth drawn from science or experience; principle, rule of conduct” (Concise Oxford English Dictionary of Current English)

“We participate in tragedy. At comedy we only look.”
- Aldous Huxley

gamma nu omega theta iota







sigma epsilon alpha epsilon tau omicron nu

(gnōthi seauton)

“Know Thyself”


How the heck this could possibly relate to what we’re actually studying
“But came back disappointed of any answer To the question I asked, having heard instead a tale Of horror and misery: how I must marry my mother … and kill my father” (Sophocles 47)

“Fate is nothing but the deeds committed in a prior existence”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oedipus: “I must pursue this trail to the end, Till I have unraveled the mystery of my birth.”(55)

“Jocasta: Yet do not do it. I implore you do not do it. Oedipus: I must. I cannot leave the truth unknown. “ (55)

“… I am the child of Fortune, The giver of good, and I shall not be shamed. She is my mother; my sisters are the Seasons; My rising and falling march with theirs. Born thus, I ask to be no other man Than that I am, and will know who I am.” - Oedipus(55)

“God offers every mind its choice between truth and repose.”
- Emerson

“when wisdom brings no profit, To be wise is to suffer”
- Teiresias (34)

“It is the glory and good of Art That Art remains the one way possible Of speaking truths”
- Robert Browning

Works Cited
• • • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English. London, England: Oxford University Press, 1960. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. London, England: Oxford University Press, 1964. McManus, Barbara F. "Outline of Aristotle's Theory of Tragedy in the Poetics." Barbara McManus Homepage. July 2003. College of New Rochelle. 9 Oct. 2008 <>. Roach , John. "Delphic Oracle's Lips May Have Been Loosened by Gas Vapours." ‘National Geographic News. 14 Aug. 2001. National Geographic News. 9 Oct. 2008 <>. Sholtz, Andrew. "Gnothi seauton - "Know Thyself." Greek Studies: gnothi seauton. 2006. Binghamton University. 9 Oct. 2008 <>. Wheeler, L. K. "Some Thoughts About Tragedy (Both Literary and Mundane)." Dr. Wheeler Literature Resources. 15 Aug. 2008. Carson-Newman College. 9 Oct. 2008 <>.

• •

Works Consulted •

"Socrates." Collier's Encyclopedia. P.F. Collier and Son Corporation, 1956 ed.

The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. London, England: Oxford University Press, 1964.

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