This project analyzes the use of fear appeals in transmitting a moral of self-realization in the drama Oedipus Rex and its adaptations into painting and film. It draws upon earlier work in media ecology, adaptation, and studies of emotions in media. It proposes that what distinguishes media from one another is the unique way that each medium stimulates the reader to draw from their own experiences with life and literature. Alternatively, what unites media is the cross platform assimilation of author and reader reality. More specifically, it asserts that print stimulates the reader via immersion, that painting achieves this same effect by acting as a proxy for the reader to embody the image before them, and that film stimulates the viewer as a result of emotive focus. Collectively, it concludes that when it comes to Oedipus and its many forms, the plays utilize fear to communicate the moral through both surface and dense texts, while painting adaptations focus on dense texts, and the filmic adaptations emphasize their surface equivalent. The project’s significance rests in its challenge to Marshal McLuhan’s technological determinism. On exposing the effects that a reader’s varied mindset can have on a medium’s ability to communicate its message, the project highlights that the relationship between humankind and media is not so deterministic and is more complex than McLuhan would have us believe.