Oedipus Vocabulary

Oedipus Rex Vocabulary
1. anagnorisis: (n) a point in the plot especially in a tragedy where the
protagonist makes a discovery about themselves or their situation. “Eureka
moment!” (6th period last year ).
2. catharsis: (n) purification of the emotions through art that brings about
spiritual renewal; achieved while watching tragedy. “We like seeing other
people fall…” Also known as “schadenfreude” or delight in other people’s
3. chorus: (n) a group of characters who act as a collective; in Oedipus Rex,
they speak for the city of Thebes.
4. compunction: (n) remorse; feeling of anxiety of conscience for doing wrong.
5. culpable: (adj.) responsible for wrong; blameworthy.
6. defilement: (n) the event of making something foul, dirty, or unclean.
7. hamartia: (n) tragic flaw; from the Greek word hamartanein or “to miss the
8. hubris: (n) excessive pride; arrogance.
9. oracle: (n) a holy place where gods told the future.
10. peripeteia: (n) a sudden or unexpected reversal of circumstances or
situation; reversal of fortune; example: a fall from grace.
11. regicide: (n) one who kills a king.
12. suppliant: (n) a person who makes a humble request or plea.
13. tragedy: (n) dramatic genre, more serious than a comedy,
14. irony: (n) contrast between expectation and reality. Situational irony: the
opposite of what is expected. Dramatic irony: when the audience knows
something that the characters don’t. Verbal irony: sarcasm; when a
character says one thing but means the opposite.
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