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'Oedipus the King' by Sophocles W/Guest Tim Sandefur

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

On this episode of Troubadour Talks I had as a guest Timothy Sandefur, VP of Litigation at Goldwater Institute. We discussed the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles.

The Oedipus is likely one of the most referenced and analyzed work of imaginative literature in the history of the world. Now, Tim and Kirk have added their voices to this endeavor!

Both Kirk and Tim recommend the Robert Fagles translation of Oedipus The King.

On the show, Tim refers to a performance of Greek Plays done in Greek. The director is Leonidas Loizides. You can learn more about this director in this article.

Read Tim Sandefur on his personal blog at Also, Tim has a review of a new translation of Oedipus, coming out at The Objective Standard,

Topics discussed:

  • Why lawyers today should read literature generally and ancient Greek literature in particular.

  • How the Ancient Greeks viewed literature's role as crucial in life.

  • An overview of The Oedipus story.

  • How Oedipus The King is like Batman.

  • The universality of this story.

  • A Character analysis of Oedipus & Jocasta

  • The problem with "Tragic Flaws."

  • Meaning from literature and mortality

  • the psychological insight we can learn from the ancients.

  • Do we have free-will or are we determined beings?

  • Analysis of the style of Oedipus' crossroads speech

  • On reading translations

  • The #DisruptTexts​ movement

  • and much more!

Here's is the speech that Tim reads: Oedipus to Jocasta: Now Jocasta, I will tell you all

Making my way toward this triple crossroad

I began to see a herald, then a brace of colts

drawing a wagon, and mounted on the bench... a man,

just as you've described him, coming face-to-face,

and the one in the lead and the old man himself

were about to thrust me off the road--brute force--

and the one shouldering me aside, the driver,

I strike him in anger!—and the old man, watching me

coming up along his wheels—he brings down

his prod, two prongs straight at my head!

I paid him back with interest!

Short work, by god—with one blow of the staff

in this right hand I knock him out of his high seat,

roll him out of the wagon, sprawling headlong—

I killed them all—every mother's son!

Page 206 Sophocles The Three Theban Plays translated by Robert Fagles


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