Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

All three of the great poets of ancient Greek tragedy wrote for an audience that enjoyed displays of rhetoric. Many scenes turn on attempts at persuasion, which may be couched in set speeches or in stichomythia (line-on-line dialogue). Frequently, set speeches are paired in a formal agōn (contest) and use arguments from eikos (what is likely). Set speeches often begin with artful attempts to deny that the speaker knows the art of persuasive speaking. In addition to displaying the use of rhetoric, tragic plots often reflect on the power of rhetoric for deception. The type of the deceptive orator in tragic plays is usually represented by Odysseus, who plays the role of deceiver most prominently in Sophocles’s Neoptolemus.

Keywords: rhetoric, ancient Greek tragedy, art, persuasion, stichomythia, deception, agōn (contest), eikos (likely), Odysseus

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.