Throughout history and fiction, individuals with outstanding talents within their social settings have been subjected to life-determining societal responses. A more general issue is the protection/transgression of an individual's rights when they are perceived to be at odds with the dominant forces of society. The problem becomes acute in oligarchical societies, which are controlled by a close-knit coalition insensitive to the larger benefit of the majority. The conflict between individual talent and reactionary oligarchy is vividly seen in the historical character of Alcibiades of Athens, during the Peloponnesian War. The conflict of oligarchic transgression over individual rights has been given attention in the story of Philoctetes in the Iliad, as masterfully brought into focus in the play by Sophocles, in the medieval novel The Abyss (L'Oeuvre au Noir) by Marguerite Yourcenar, and in the history of Piri Reis. A critical analysis of individual talents and rights under oligarchic encroachment will be conducted, with historical, biographical, and literary settings.